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Building Stem Skills in Built Environment Education

8 pagesPublished: October 23, 2017


Australia is on the cusp of a range of global megatrends across technology, society, the economy, and the environment which are changing the world of work for future graduates beyond current recognition. Digitisation, technology and automation are requiring new skills at a rate of exponential change. Many of these skills have traditionally been classified as skills related to STEM disciplines. But future employability is now linked to the growing demand for 21st century STEM skills beyond existing traditional understandings of STEM. It will not only be STEM graduates who will need 21st century skills of discipline literacy, adaptive thinking, proficiency in coding and technology, utilising a design mindset, complex problem-solving and analytical thinking skills. All students, including built environment graduates, will need adaptive thinking about their worlds and exposure to 21st century STEM skills and understandings. This research work by members of the OLT funded STEM Ecosystem illustrates the development of STEM skill learning opportunities for built environment students. The learning opportunities discussed in this paper are archetypes of 21st century skills and featured engagement with diverse cohorts of students, practice-oriented learning, STEM literacy, adaptive thinking and discipline-based core knowledge. The results from 46 student interviews indicate the relevance of 21st century STEM skills for built environment students, and the increased skill set of built environment students involved. The results and outcomes of this research have the capacity to provide industry with built environment graduates who are not only technically skilled but future 21st century STEM work-enabled.

Keyphrases: 21st century skills, construction, Employability, graduates, STEM

In: Marsha Lamb (editor). AUBEA 2017: Australasian Universities Building Education Association Conference 2017, vol 1, pages 38--45

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