Interactive Engineering experience for teenage girls

5 Jul 2017

Year 8-to-10 girls gained experience at being an engineer and exposure to the diverse opportunities an engineering career can bring at a unique student conference organised by Engineers Australia.

The Experience It! student conference at Western Sydney University Parramatta campus offered secondary students an interactive day to participate in engineering workshops – as diverse as robotics relay, solar challenge and prosthetic limbs.

The girls were guided by university students and industry experts who explained job pathways and the numerous careers an engineering qualification can bring.

Women in Engineering Sydney chair Varuni Fernando says no prior engineering maths or physics experience was needed.

‘Students were given the chance to do team based workshops in their areas of interest. We also had booths with information about different engineering opportunities and some leading female engineers to answer questions about their own experiences.’  

‘Engineers Australia’s research shows that only 6% of girls nationally are studying advanced maths and even less for physics. These subjects are required to study engineering at uni. This workshop hopes to get more girls interested in studying engineering,’ Ms Fernando said.

This is the fourth year Experience It! has run, with a different University playing host each time.

Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC) Director of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Maryanne Graham said students will also get the chance to ask questions of experts from SMC, which is delivering Australia’s largest infrastructure project, WestConnex.

“SMC is proud to be partnering with Engineers Australia through our Community Connections Program to support this important initiative, which aims to empower women and highlight the exciting pathways and opportunities available in the field,” Ms Graham said.  

“In addition to delivering a transformational road network, WestConnex will help create more than 10,000 jobs and provide training and education opportunities to equip thousands of workers with transferrable skills and experience.

“There is a growing number of women working as engineers on WestConnex, inspiring future generations who dream of working on big infrastructure projects.

“In addition to those working for SMC, there are more than 200 women working as part of the joint venture teams for the New M4 and New M5 tunnel projects, the majority of whom work in engineering, planning, design, quality and safety.

“SMC is committed to driving positive community outcomes and understands the importance of supporting the skill development and participation of women in non-traditional roles, and the benefits increased diversity in the workplace can bring.”