Refraction Media celebrates 10 year milestone in STEM media

June 13, 2023

This week, Refraction Media co-founders Karen Taylor-Brown and Heather Catchpole celebrate ten years in business, a remarkable feat for a small business, especially one in media.

Refraction Media is a celebrated STEM-specialist media and education agency. Publishers of Careers with STEM, and a host of STEM-related publications including KnowHow magazine, and Australian University Science, Refraction Media was created with a vision to create a smarter future. 

Working with visionary clients, a lean and exceptionally talented staff and a roster of top-notch writers, producers, designers, videographers, Karen and Heather quickly built Refraction Media into Australia’s leading STEM media agency, winning best Small Publishers of the Year in 2015, and twice being listed as Telstra Small Business Finalists in 2014 and 2015.

“We work collaboratively with organisations who share our vision and want to work together to create a world where everyone has access to the fast-growing and high-paying STEM careers, says Karen Taylor-Brown. “We believe every Australian should have access to and representation in STEM careers.”

In 2016, Refraction Media went international, taking popular STEM careers magazine Careers with Code, established with the support of Google in 2014, to the US and New Zealand. The publication was listed as part of Barack Obama’s Computer Science for all Initiative in 2016. 

Over 2 million Careers with STEM magazines have since been distributed free to schools – with the support of sponsors including Google, The Commonwealth Bank, Telstra and ANSTO, and many of Australia’s leading STEM universities.

Now a hub for careers engagement in STEM including quizzes, videos, events, and hundreds of positive STEM role models, Careers with STEM reaches 1 million people annually, with over 50% high school students and 20% of online traffic university graduates. It is still distributed free to all Australian secondary schools, filling a yawning gap in STEM careers education at schools, despite STEM jobs growing twice as fast as jobs in other areas and a continuing disparity in gender employment and study, particularly in technology and engineering.

“Challenge has always been that many young Austrlaians don’t see themselves in STEM. This might be because of stereotypes, it might be because they have no access to STEM professionals or they have an outdated perception of what STEM jobs are. We aim to challenge those barriers, working alongside other amazing Australian organisations, and see more women, First Nations and other diverse members in STEM,” says Heather Catchpole. 

In addition to creating Careers with STEM, Refraction Media works with over 200 clients to create custom products raging from a virtual tour of ANSTO’s nuclear reactor, an ongoing strategy re-imagining our understanding of university science, and professional learning and classroom resources addressing vaping and youth, young driver safety, and Indigenous STEM education with leading Indigenous organisations.

Download Careers with STEM’s 2023 impact report.

Founders Karen Taylor-Brown and Heather Catchpole credit working collaboratively with clients, and employing and contracting Australia’s leading talent in media in hitting this important 10 year milestone in business.

Want to work with Refraction Media? Email us to start a conversation, 

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