SUMMIT AIMS TO INSPIRE GIRLS TO BECOME ENGINEERS More than 80 young women converge on UOW for six-day engineering summit.
Girls from high schools across New South Wales and the ACT will converge on UOW this week (Sunday 10 to Friday 15 January) for a six-day engineering summit transitioning into a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) camp to inspire them to change the world through engineering and technology-related areas.
Participants will have an opportunity to learn about STEM through the themes of Medicine and the Human Body, Sustainability in the Built Environment, Renewable Energies and the Natural Environment, and Creative Design - where participants will explore technology through animatronics and coding within UOW's Digital Media Centre and 3D printing with the University's iAccelerate Start up, me3D.
The Women in Engineering Summit, hosted by UOW's Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, provides girls in Years 10 and 11 the opportunity to find out more about careers in the engineering and STEM-industries, experience the world-class facilities at UOW and tour local sites.
More than 80 young women between 15 to 18 years will attend the event, where they will meet industry leaders, academics and other women with similar interests from across the state as they explore engineering disciplines including environmental, civic, mining, electrical, mechatronics, materials, computer and telecommunications engineering.
Only about 14 per cent of Australian students enrolled in engineering or technology-related degrees in 2015 at Australian institutions were female.
Helping inspire them to rebalance the gender gap will be student leaders who are young female UOW engineering students or recent graduates currently working in industry.
Schools Liaison Co-ordinator and one of the organisers for the event, Destiny Paris, is an electrical engineer with many years of experience working in a wide range of industries.
She said the summit was an opportunity to break down stereotypes about STEM studies and show the career opportunities available.
"Engineering is about designing products, processes and systems that improve the lives of people all over the world. Women make up half the world's population and if they are to be equal users of all these products of engineering they should have an equal part in their design.
With the latest report from Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC) stating 44 per cent (or 5.1m) jobs (in Australia) are at risk from digital disruption, Ms Paris said it was imperative that "we spark an interest and equip our youth with STEM skills at an early age in order to secure opportunities for future employment and ensure equal participation of women in these fields".