Engineering future careers in STEM - Education Matters Magazine
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Engineering future careers in STEM

STEM

Young women are finding new confidence in future career opportunities in maths, science, engineering and technology, following a successful event delivered by Engineers Australia earlier this month.

Around 160 girls from six NSW schools participated in ‘Engineering Your Future ‘at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum as part of the NSW Government’s Women’s Week – a key schools engagement activity for the state.

The event was designed to demonstrate practical uses of engineering, foster students’ interest in STEM subjects and inspire girls to consider careers in engineering.

Featured workshops were designed and facilitated by leading Engineering Universities including UNSW, Sydney University, UTS, University of Wollongong, Western Sydney University and Macquarie.

Students heard from women working in science and engineering including mechatronics students, civil engineers, biomedical engineers, chemists and software engineers.

Catholic school students working alongside engineering professionals

Among those in attendance were Years 7-10 Catholic school students from MacKillop Catholic College, Port Macquarie and St Francis Catholic College, Edmondson Park.

Students teamed up with professional engineers and student engineers to participate in a variety of workshops including using chemical engineering to make ice cream and hand sanitiser; using computing engineering to code and wind turbines; using civil engineering to create dams and make earthquake proof buildings; and using maths and virtual reality to simulate mining rescues.

St Francis Catholic College teacher Ms Helen Lyons said the workshop gave the students a chance to see just how great a career engineering can be for women and allowed the students to see new ideas for their futures.

“Workshops such as these help to increase student engagement in learning as they can see the importance of it when working in industry,” said Ms Lyons.

“Students also develop an increased awareness of the need to have well developed enterprise skills particularly teamwork and collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.”

Year 8 St Francis Catholic College student Maya Stabb highlighted that the workshop explored different pathways to study engineering such as humanitarian studies, mining, and water catchment.

“It was great to find out more about the powerful women in the engineering industry doing the work that has been previously dominated by males,” said Maya.

“I hadn’t considered engineering as a career pathway because I didn’t know or understand the options available. Now I am interested in finding out more about it. If one day can open my eyes to these opportunities, just imagine what else there is out there in the many other industries around.”

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