Workplace volunteers are helping students build STEM skills

When: 14 Sep 2022

Creating strong and lasting partnerships with our corporate supporters and schools not only helps in building a community – it can transform classrooms into dynamic and inspiring learning environments. This has certainly been the case in Melbourne’s south where Ardoch’s partnership with engineering company, Cummins, and a local school has helped deliver a range of beneficial programs to students from diverse backgrounds.

With a focus on nurturing STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) knowledge and skills in the next generation, the primary school-aged students have benefitted from a generous donation of drones and robotics kits.

“The students … have been very fortunate to experience using drones, thanks to the generosity of Cummins,” shared the school’s assistant principal.

Collection of drones


“Using the iPads, students discovered how to manoeuvre the drones around the room and create short recordings of their flight paths. It was also wonderful to see parents flying drones in the Discovery Centre as part of our Education Week activities. We will continue to explore this exciting new piece of technology over the coming weeks.”

Subhead: Buddies by numbers

Cummins is also a staunch supporter of Ardoch’s Numeracy Buddies program where through their workplace volunteering program, employees have been matched with grade 5/6 students to work together solving maths problems over an online blog.

These regular blogs provide opportunities for the students to practice their math and understand how it relates to future careers while linking them up with adult role models in STEM fields.

While the buddies blog regularly, the real highlight is when they get together in person. Meeting up in the school’s Discovery Centre recently, both the big buddies from Cummins and the little buddies enjoyed getting to know each other, playing ice-breaker games, sharing snacks, and learning more about pathways to careers in STEM.

Volunteer and students sitting together

Vibrant conversations broke out in small groups as the big buddies shared their knowledge and experience of working in the STEM industry and what steps they took to get there. But the benefits are not just one-sided – the big buddies also get so much out of these interactions with one sharing that she chooses to take up the Numeracy Buddies volunteering option every year for the sheer joy it brings.

The next time the buddies meet will be when the students take a trip to the Cummins site and see for themselves what working in a large-scale STEM business is all about.

Learn more about how to get involved in Ardoch’s impactful Buddies Programs through corporate partnerships.