Australia’s future space workforce has taken a giant leap forward, with Lockheed Martin Australia announcing a landmark partnership with STEM Punks, an award-winning Australian Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Education provider.
The new partnership represents a flagship STEM initiative under Lockheed Martin Australia’s proposed JP9102 solution to deliver a next-generation, sovereign military satellite communication (MILSATCOM) capability to the Australian Defence Force.
Under the JP9102 program, STEM Punks will develop and implement a 10-year space-focused curriculum that encompasses high-school, university and early-career level activities. This will educate, up-skill and inspire Australia’s next generation technical workforce to support the nation’s growing suite of space programs and capabilities.
The program will employ a hybrid delivery model with both immersive online modules and face-to-face workshops, classes and activities. Over its life, the program will be rolled out to 80 schools across Australia with at least a quarter representing regional and Indigenous communities.
Lockheed Martin Australia regional director for Space, David Ball, welcomed STEM Punks to the JP9102 team as a reinforcement of the company’s commitment to partnerships and sovereign space industry capability.
“Lockheed Martin Australia is very proud to be partnering with STEM Punks, an innovative Australian organisation operating at that critical interface between the education sector and Australian industry,” Ball said.
“STEM Punks’ hands-on approach to teaching and learning, its experience developing world-class educational programs and its access through LMA into Australian space industry combine to ensure a rich pipeline of talent that will be critical to Australia’s future in space.”
At the tertiary level, Lockheed Martin Australia is working with STEM Punks to define requirements for a national Space Industry STEM program that enables university students to advance into areas of critical need for the Australian space industry.
At the vocational level, STEM Punks will design a knowledge program for industry mentoring and skilling. This will provide professional development to individuals and groups from within Australia’s space sector and adjacent industries.
“We are genuinely excited to have the opportunity to partner with Lockheed Martin Australia on this critical pursuit,” STEM Punks CEO and co-founder Michael Holmstrom said.
“The program will inspire school students to pursue STEM-focused studies at university, and better align graduates with dynamic career opportunities in Australia’s space and defence industries.
“When you consider Lockheed Martin’s global workforce includes some 60,000 engineers and scientists, the knowledge sharing opportunities this partnership represents for students are almost endless, creating national benefits in terms of successful careers and a stronger more resilient Australian industry capability.”
STEM Punks joins a growing network of Australian service providers and SMEs, including Shoal Group, Av-Comm, Clearbox Systems and Ronson Gears, that are supporting Lockheed Martin Australia to deliver best-of-breed sovereign solutions and supply chain opportunities for JP9102 and beyond.