Girls Empowered to be Engineers by Park Ridge High

Girls Empowered to be Engineers at Park Ridge High

STEM Girls at Park Ridge State High School were recently given a glimpse into what a career in engineering looks like as a female in today’s world, with an immersive learning experience delivered by QUT Young Accelerators program.

Twenty-Two Year 8 STEM girls travelled to the Constructionarium Australia training facility in Salisbury on November 22 for the QUT Power of Engineering  program which aims to provide industry experiences for young women.

Year 8 STEM teachers Rebecca Isakson and Adilah Ali say the day was extremely empowering and educational for the girls in attendance to learn what engineering involves and whether it could be a career option for them.

“It was about empowering women, and introducing them to engineering by providing them practical and creative experiences to get a better idea of how it works and impacts our world,” Ms Isakson said.

“They really enjoyed it and I can probably say there’s at least four budding female engineers now.”

The students were treated to a presentation from the Executive Director of Constructionarium Australia, Harry Hartman, who spoke about the skills needed to be a successful engineer in today’s world.  

“This excursion allowed them to have a chat with an engineer that has worked all over the world in all different facets of engineering,” Ms Isakson said.

“He talked about the skill set required to be an engineer, including problem solving, creativity and collaboration which are all the 21st century skills we’ve been working on during our Deep Learning program at Park Ridge State High School. 

“He also explained some of his work on the cross-river rail project which had the students extremely engaged.

“It really cemented for the students all of the skills they’ve been working on this year and what they are going to need for the future workforce so hearing Harry say it to them in a real-world setting was great.

Girls in Stem
Park Ridge STEM Girls at the Constructionarium training facility

Ms Isakson says the students also listened to a female engineering student who’s currently doing a PHD at QUT talk about her experiences studying environmental and civil engineering. 

“She gave an overview of what that looks like for her being a female studying engineering,” she said.

Ms Ali said other highlights of the day included a site tour of all the facilities and equipment.

“It’s a training facility but they built a replica of the story bridge with women only and the students got to observe this and ask lots of questions about how it was built and the best designs,” Ms Ali said.

“We went into one of the workshops and the students were able to see where students come in and do training for confined space, forklift and other tickets.”

Ms Isakson says you never know what job opportunities are available, so experiences like this are valuable to provide insight to the students that can inform their career choices.

“It’s about creating immersive learning opportunities where the learning doesn’t just occur in the classroom, where they actually go out and experience it,” she said.

“They wouldn’t have understood this unless they went out on site and saw what it looked like.”

The QUT Power of Engineering excursion has been just one of many immersive learning experiences for students this year in the Deep Learning program at Park Ridge State High School.

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