Inspiring high school girls as future engineers

(L-R): Romi Yupanqui and Nikki Granger from Sacred Heart College during a women in engineering event at Flinders.
(L-R): Romi Yupanqui and Nikki Granger from Sacred Heart College during a women in engineering event at Flinders.

The traditionally male-dominated disciplines of engineering, information technology (IT) and mathematics are igniting the interests of local Adelaide high school girls.

About 30 female students from Sacred Heart College and the Australian Science and Mathematics School spent a day with women from Flinders University’s School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics on Wednesday (August 20) as part of an event to inspire and encourage young women to pursue a career in the industry.

The gathering was the second for the year, with the June event attracting more than 100 Year 10, Year 11 and Year 12 students from schools including Loreto College, Christies Beach High School, St Mary’s College, Tatachilla Lutheran College, Wilderness School, Mary Mackillop College, St Aloysius College, Westminster School, Hallett Cove R-12 and Open Access College.

During the event, students took part in an engineering challenge where they worked in teams to design, build and evaluate a solution to a current, real-world engineering problem.

Notable female industry professionals and researchers from the science, engineering and IT fields also shared their career success stories, discussed the future of the industry and provided advice to the students on science, engineering and IT courses and careers.

Flinders Faculty of Science and Engineering Marketing and Communications Officer Marissa Milne, who coordinated the event, said women have a diverse skill-set to offer the industry.

“This area is traditionally male-dominated but women have skills and abilities that can also make them very successful in the industry,” Ms Milne said.

“The benefit of the event is that it provides a safe space for the girls to explore their options, practice their engineering problem-solving skills and meet successful women who are working in the industry.”

Sacred Heart College student Romi Yupanqui said she hoped to see more women engineers in the future: “It’s an unexplored area for women and because engineers create things, it would be good for women to have a view too.”

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