Thrive | Autumn 2018
“THE STEM EVENTS HAVE GIVEN ME A DEEPER INSIGHT INTO THE POSSIBILITY OF FUTURE PROFESSIONS.” MADALYN, YEAR 10
While all events target both male and female students, Anne is conscious of the role she plays in making STEM appealing to girls. “We’re strongly aware that the data highlights the low number of girls taking up STEM subjects, so there’s thought that goes into how we can increase the benefit for girls. “Sometimes it’s a matter of girls seeing other girls and women involved. For example, we encourage industry exhibitors at our events to bring their female employees along. It’s all about making girls and women visible in these fields so we ensure our industry representatives are aware of that.” Along these lines, CSU took part in a Women in STEM breakfast in Wodonga hosted by Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, and Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Hon. Karen Andrews. “Women in STEM aims to get industry mentors for women and brings together students, educators and industry to discuss common issues. We’re hopeful a Wangaratta branch will be established so we can help inspire STEM across the area.” When asked about the best part of her job, Anne points to the success of the 2016 Vex Robotics Competition and the way students came together to embrace that experience. “To see young people openly enjoying what they were doing and linking it to educational outcomes was great, and it all comes together so incidentally and naturally. “Some of these kids were getting an experience they don’t get anywhere else, so it’s a good feeling to be able to give them that opportunity. They see that not only is it fun and interesting, they’re good at it.
“We want to broaden our program to ensure these are not one-off activities. While it’s great to have a good experience as a one-off, we need to keep going and keep growing their aspirations.” The students attending STEM events can clearly see the benefits. “They made me think about careers I had not even thought about before,” said Year 10 student Imogen. For fellow Year 10 student Macey the creativity of science was a welcome surprise. “It was interesting that there is also a more creative side to science that I didn’t know about before.”