Students from Years 7-10 from MacKillop Catholic College, Port Macquarie and St Francis Catholic College, Edmondson Park attended the Engineers Australia event – ‘Engineering your future – Girls in STEM’ at the Sydney Powerhouse Museum last week.

The students heard from women working in science and engineering, and at various stages of their careers, including mechatronics students, civil engineers, biomedical engineers, chemists and software engineers.

With the guidance of female engineering students from across NSW universities and industry experts, the girls 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, along with using maths to solving mining problems.

St Francis Catholic College teacher 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,” Helen said.

“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 said 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,” Maya said.

“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 them. If one day can open my eyes to these opportunities, just imagine what else there is out there in the many other industries around,” she said.

Around 160 girls from six NSW schools participated in the event – a key schools engagement activity as part of the NSW Government’s Women’s Week 2023 designed to demonstrate practical uses of engineering, foster students’ interest in STEM subjects and inspire girls to consider careers in engineering.

Caption: Students from St Francis Catholic College, Edmondson Park at the ‘Engineering your future – Girls in STEM’ event at the Sydney Powerhouse Museum. Source: St Francis Catholic College.