Wednesday, May 2, 2012
If you were around the UTS city campus last Friday 27 April 2012 then you were probably wondering why there were so many students around during Vice Chancellor’s week. Don’t worry, you didn’t miss a memo and class didn’t start back a week early- it was just one of the Women in Engineering and IT's bi-annual ‘Hands on Days’.
The Women in Engineering and IT (WiE&IT) team invite schools from all across New South Wales to participate in a fun and interactive activities day, aimed at encouraging female school leavers to consider engineering and IT as a study option and future career. Students travelled from places as far as Mudgee, the Central Coast and Newcastle to participate. The activities involved many aspects of engineering and IT learnt through studying at UTS, and ranged from making prosthetic legs, creating computer games and apps, controlling robots and even how to make artificial hearts.
These activities couldn’t happen without support from industry partners, who donate their time to talk to the students. Each year, WiE&IT encourage industry partners to run an activity, giving the students an insight into engineering and IT career pathways and an opportunity to speak to women already working in these industries. Companies such as Thales Group, the Roads and Maritime Services, Engineers Without Borders, Thoughtworks Australia and Microsoft Australia all ran activities that taught the girls how engineering and IT are embedded in almost every aspect of our lives. The Engineers Without Borders team did an excellent job of reinforcing this, by proving that the majority of the world's problems can be fixed using engineering solutions.
Nekisa Mostafavi, a 5th year Mechanical Engineering student and a facilitator for the ‘Mousetrap Race Cars’ activity, was delighted by the participant’s enthusiasm.
“I liked that everyone was involved, not just the students but the teachers as well,” Nekisa said.
“I think the ‘Mousetrap’ activity gave them an idea of how engineering [principles] can be incorporated more into high school subjects [such as, science and physics].”
At the end of the day, over 200 hundred students had learnt something new about engineering and IT, and hopefully inspired them to pull us towards the vision of Hands on Day- ‘Engineering and IT for Smarter Futures’.
By Shellee Murphy-Oates
UTS Events Cadet, Faculty of Engineering & IT