Women help girls enter science careers

GIRLS are set to have greater employment opportunities in the growing world of science, thanks to an innovative project launched last Wednesday.
The STEM Sisters Project will match teenage girls with mentors in what are these days called the STEM subjects: science, technology, education and maths.
The project brings together 22 Year 10 girls from Wonthaggi, Leongatha and Korumburra secondary colleges, along with students from Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College in Leongatha and Newhaven College.
They met at the Old Wonthaggi Post Office to talk with 12 STEM Sisters ambassadors. The women will be the girls’ mentors and are from industries across South Gippsland and beyond, including Murray Goulburn dairy cooperative, South Gippsland Water, Bass Coast Shire Council, Westernport Water, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, Phillip Island Nature Parks and Deakin University.
The project is an initiative of South Gippsland Bass Coast Local Learning and Employment Network, and is part of a broader project across Gippsland.
The network’s Monti Voight said, “Women in Australia represent about 12 to 15 percent of people working in the fields of science, technology, education and maths.
“The major concern for governments is science and technology are where a lot of the job opportunities are going to be in the future and if we do not have young girls interested, then they are going to find it difficult getting into the workforce.”
A guest speaker at last Wednesday’s launch was Kim Dunstan, a project ambassador and staff member of Phillip Island Nature Parks.
She spoke about employment opportunities for women in science and conservation, and a citizen science project that will entail using drones and other technology to monitor wildlife projects.
“We want to get students involved in data collection,” Ms Dunstan said.
That project will be one of two major projects to be undertaken as part of STEM Sisters. The other will be the BrainSTEM Challenge across Gippsland, with 14 teams joining with mentors from the Florey Institute medical research centre to work on project that will improve the health of rural Victorians.
“One of the teams will work on youth mental health in dairying communities,” Ms Voight said.
Girls applied to take part in STEM Sisters.
Wonthaggi Secondary College’s Hayley Robb said, “I want to be a midwife and that involves science and maths, and this project might help get there.”
Fellow WSC student Celina Myring said, “I’m interested in veterinary careers and the environment.”

Go girls: students and ambassadors in the STEM Sisters Project launched the initiative at the Old Wonthaggi Post Office last Wednesday.
Front, from left, Shakira Barker of Leongatha Secondary College, Amanda Rowley of Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College, Jasmine Crow of Wonthaggi Secondary College, Andrea Axford of Korumburra Secondary College and Cailen Lone of Newhaven College.
Back, from left, Monti Voight of South Gippsland Bass Coast Local Learning and Employment Network, Kim Dunstan of Phillip Island Nature Parks, Meg Humphrys of Westernport Water, Ashton Chudiak of Phillip Island Nature Parks and Lucy Allsop of South Gippsland Water.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=24499

Posted by on Mar 20 2018. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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