STEM and ICT news and Google’s best of 2015 lists

Good news for STEM in Australia…..


The new National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA)

Malcolm Turnbull’s $1.1 billion innovation package (the Ideas Boom) was released yesterday at CSIRO in Canberra – “inspiring Australians to be innovative” and to take risks. The government will spend $48 million over the next 4 years “inspiring” Australians in digital literacy and STEM areas. This includes funding to upgrade teachers’ digital skills, educational apps and $13 million to boost the participation of girls and women in STEM. The government will spend $51 million over five years targeting coding activity in schools including online computing challenges for Year 5 and 7 students, ICT summer schools for Years 9 and 10, an annual ‘Cracking the Code’ national competition for years 4 to 12 and support for teachers to increase IT-related activity in the classroom. This fits well with  the AC Digital Technologies.


CSIRO and other science research projects will enjoy more funding and a renewed focus, businesses will get more support for innovation and universities will get increased funding for research. The Australian Synchroton (bright light beams for research) and the Square Kilometre Array (largest radio telescope) will get $800 million over 10 years.$1-billion-innovation-program/7006952



Tech Girls Are Superheroes

The Tech Girls Are Superheroes campaign was started by the Tech Girls Movement (TGM) in 2014. Founded by Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen, TGM promotes positive female IT role models to encourage and raise awareness of STEM career options for girls. The free booklet Tech Girls Are Superheroes has 26 stories from talented women in IT, each with their own avatar. Available here:

The winners of the 2015 Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero were announced last month. See their work here:

Entries are now open to all girls in years 4-12 for the 2016 Next Tech Girl Superhero. Students submit technology-based solutions for different challenges according to their year group eg. building body confidence, increasing cybersafety, reducing environmental impacts. Winners receive funding and mentoring for their idea. Entries close 1 July 2016.




Google’s best of 2015 lists

Take a look at what has been popular in Android during 2015 – apps; games; top-selling music, movies, books, news sources; favourite movies and TV…

Click on each category to see the full list – all with links to buy now! (hmm thanks Google).

Favourite books include: Go set a watchman – Harper Lee; Fates and furies – Lauren Groff; The buried giant – Kazuo Ishiguro; Between the world and me – Ta-Nehisi Coates; Carry on – Rainbow Rowell.

Favourite movies and TV include: Paper planes; The secret river; Ex machina; Mr Robot; Fargo; Outlander; Miss Fisher’s murder mysteries; Inside out; Mad Max: Fury Road.

Favourite music includes: 25 – Adele; Currents – Tame Impala; Sometimes I sit and think and sometimes I just sit – Courtney Barnett; Fire and the flood – Vance Joy.

Best apps include Skype, Catch of the Day, Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Microsoft Word.

Google Trends – check out what we’re searching for:

Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 and other best books

Lots of lists this time of year…easy to get addicted  : )


Goodreads Choice Awards 2015

With over 3 million votes cast, these are the only major book awards decided by readers. Categories include: Fiction; Mystery and thriller; Fantasy; Science fiction; Historical fiction; Horror; Humour; Graphic novels; Autobiography; Non fiction; Young Adult fiction;  Middle grade and children’s; Picture books.


Fiction winner: Go set a watchman by Harper Lee.

Mystery and thriller winner: The girl on the train by Paula Hawkins.

Fantasy winner: Trigger warning by Neil Gaiman.

Sci-fi winner: Golden son by Pierce Brown.

Graphic novels winner: Saga vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan.

Young adult fiction winner: All the bright places by Jennifer Niven.

Picture book winner: The day the crayons came home by Drew Daywalt.

Nice graphics and author photos:


Top 200 books published in 2015 added on Goodreads

Listed according to how many readers added them.


Angus & Robertson Bookworld top picks of 2015

Best fiction: includes All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr; The heart goes last by Margaret Atwood.

Best non fiction: includes Reckoning by Magda Szubanski.

Also includes books of the month.


The best books of 2015 – chosen by Amazon editors

Various categories. Best book of 2015 – Fates and furies by Lauren Groff.


Amazon best sellers of 2015

Always includes some old favourites.


Authors and critics select their favourite reads of 2015


Publishers Weekly best books of 2015


Happy holiday reading!