Girl Power unleashed so STEM can blossom in schools
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Girl Power unleashed so STEM can blossom in schools

Peter Doherty Awards for Excellence in STEM Education winners announced

The 2022 STEM Girl Power Camp took place in Brisbane, Queensland last week where the brightest, young female STEM students from across the state were selected to participate.

“Congratulations to the 60 outstanding Year 10 students and 10 teachers selected from across Queensland to take part in this exciting five-day experience, where they have the opportunity to enrich their STEM skills, visit innovative facilities and learn from industry experts,” Ms Grace said.

“It’s also fantastic to see that we have three Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student participants with us this year, coming from as far as Blackwater in the west and Varsity Lakes in the south, to the Torres Strait in Queensland’s far north. For so long, STEM fields have been largely dominated by men – so it’s important that STEM represents the diversity in our society. That’s why since 2016, the Palaszczuk Government has invested around $766,000 to run the camp and support girls in STEM to make sure we continue to uplift underrepresented groups.”

One of the key outcomes of the STEM Girl Power Camp is to enlist all participants as Regional STEM Girl Power Ambassadors, who will share their experiences to spark excitement and engagement back home in their local school communities.

“Students will walk away from the camp with an even greater passion for STEM which we hope will inspire them to pursue a career in STEM after school,” Ms Grace said.

“We’ve already seen the goals of this initiative blossom into concrete outcomes, with many past participants now actively studying or working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government is investing in initiatives such a Free Tafe and the STEM Girl Power Camp to ensure more young women and girls have the opportunities to take up a career in STEM industries.

“Having more young women pursue a career in traditionally male-dominated industries such as STEM is a key focus of our new Queensland Women’s Strategy,” Minister Fentiman said.

“Because we know increasing gender equality in our workplaces increases women’s economic security and can support our efforts to close the gender paygap.”

William Ross State High School teacher, Rose Rush, said she was honoured to be selected for this year’s STEM Girl Power camp as her school integrates the Arts with STEM skills.

“My excitement was invigorated by one of our students taking part in the Girl Power STEM camp – she made, and exhibited locally, a wearable art piece inspired by the bushfires, using electronic circuitry, science, mathematics, laser and creative design skills,” Ms Rush said.

“I see Australians as the innovators of the world and the benefits of educating and involving more girls, especially of Indigenous background, into STEAM learning pathways.”

Ms Grace also thanked all of the industry experts and organisations who have taken time out this week to invest in the future of STEM skills in Queensland.

Camp activities will take place at several locations, including Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology, University of Queensland, iFly Brisbane Indoor Skydiving and Cross River Rail.

More information on the program can be found here.

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