July and August saw a focus on STEM activities and engaging Tasmania’s future engineers, with a series of events held in the lead-up to and during National Science Week.
Taking place from 10-18 August, National Science Week provides an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Australian scientists and encourages younger people to be fascinated by the world we live in.
On 30 July, the University of Tasmania (UTAS) celebrated 100 years of tertiary engineering education in Tasmania. Featuring addresses from the Vice Chancellor Prof Rufus Black CompIEAust and Engineers Australia National President the Honourable Trish White FIEAust CPEng EngExec NER, the day’s activities included a community BBQ and tour, open lectures and an alumni reception – and attracted Engineers Australia members from across the country.
Engineers Australia also partnered with UTAS to deliver the 2019 Futures in Engineering program to 135 high school and college students in sessions held across the state in late July and early August.
The full-day program included activities and tours of the engineering facilities and labs at the University of Tasmania, interactive activities hosted by industry partners, and a variety of short presentations from industry, current students and academics on opportunities in the profession.
Year 12 student Lidia Casimaty attended the Hobart event, and found that meeting engineers from a range of background and disciplines was particularly valuable.
‘I really enjoyed getting to talk to a lot of engineers’, said Casimaty.
‘It demonstrated how engineering is applied to the world, and the many different paths it can take you on.’
On 4 and 10 August, Engineers Australia volunteers attended the UTAS Open Days in Hobart and Launceston, helping parents and high school students understand opportunities available through studying engineering.
Local member Kate McIntosh volunteered at the Hobart Open Day, and said the opportunity to be able to chat with prospective engineering students and their families was especially valuable.
‘I think it is so important to be able to give back to the profession by helping to promote careers in engineering, and I felt really honoured to be able to share my experiences from my own career in engineering’, said McIntosh.
‘Hopefully I have been able to inspire others to pursue a career in this fascinating and challenging field.’
The Festival of Bright Ideas, held in Hobart on 9-10 August, celebrates the Tasmanian science sector by showcasing engaging hands-on activities, displays, workshops, lectures and tours with a focus on innovative and inspiring aspects of STEM.
Engineers Australia had a booth featuring a station for budding scientists to work on their Create It Comp entries – answering the question of ‘If anything is possible and you had unlimited time, money, help, and skill, what would you engineer?’.
The competition aimed to get students and adults alike to reflect on how engineering can impact the world around them, and winners will be announced soon.
Rounding out National Science Week was a screening of Dream Big: Engineering our world. With a stereotype-busting engineer cast, Dream Big celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels and reveals the heart that drives engineers to create better lives for people around the world.
Approximately 80 attendees of all ages had the opportunity to hear from four Tasmanian engineers – Kate McIntosh FIEAust CPEng NER, David Pointing FIEAust CPEng EngExec NER, Elspeth Moronie MIEAust and Ellsie Killick GradIEAust - about why they love their careers and the impacts they have in our communities.
While our formal program of STEM engagement activities and National Science Week have ended for 2019, Engineers Australia is committed to continuing to engage Tasmanian students and prospective engineers through continued events, STEM outreach activities and resources.
Image: students learning about Engineers Australia's Tasmanian activities during National Science Week