On Wednesday the 27 March a group of female students from the College, identified as gifted and talented in Science and Mathematics, travelled to Murdoch University in Perth to experience a wide range of STEM-based workshops and activities at the WISE Women Showcase. The day was designed to highlight the many and varied options open to girls and women who are interested in pursuing studies - and ultimately rewarding careers - in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The 29 girls from Years 8-10 were joined by over 220 students, including other South West regional schools and groups from as far as Mt Barker and Narrogin Senior High School.
To start the day, students assembled in the Kim E Beazley Lecture Theatre to listen to Keynote speaker, Grace Gilmore, discuss her decision to become a Research Medical Scientist. She chose to specialise in the area of blood diseases with the view to improving the lives of people with leukaemia or haemophilia, and it was interesting to learn about her career journey from school and how varied it has been so far.
The first of two workshops the girls experienced was in the field of Forensic Science, where they were asked to do a facial reconstruction using clay onto a model skull. This was a huge hit, with the girls donning a lab coat and getting hands-on into Science.
In the second workshop, the students were set a task as ‘code-breakers’, where they applied their knowledge and skills in the area of Mathematics as well as critical and creative thinking.
Teachers were also involved in a workshop to discuss possible enablers and barriers in the area of STEM for female students in school.
To conclude the day, the students participated in a Q&A session with a panel of speakers either studying, lecturing or working in a STEM based career. This was a very worthwhile session, enabling the girls to ask questions of their own to help demystify the options and issues for girls in the diverse and dynamic area of STEM and potential careers.
“I loved how we got to experience what it might be like to be a forensic scientist working with clay modelling skills.” - Mackenzie
“I got to get a better idea of what I want to do after school and it gave me a lot of information about university and the range of things I can study there. It also was very interesting to learn about a lot of different things that I didn’t even know were options to study.” - Ruby