Strengthening the Pipeline of Future Engineering Talent in Tasmania

Engineers Australia Tasmania is working hard to strengthen the pipeline of future engineering talent, recognising the importance of encouraging student participation in STEM subjects from an early age.
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Students participating in STEM activities

Engineers Australia Tasmania is working hard to strengthen the pipeline of future engineering talent, recognising the importance of encouraging student participation in STEM subjects from an early age.

This priority is widely shared by Engineers Australia’s members, committees and groups and is reflected in the recently developed National STEM Strategy (2019-2023), which supports the strategic priority to ‘Create tomorrow’s engineers’, with key objectives to ‘Build, Attract and Retain’.

The STARportal has also been developed in collaboration with Australia’s Chief Scientist; Australia’s first online searchable database of STEM activities for teachers, careers advisors, parents and students.

Looking locally, Engineers Australia staff and members are involved in a broad range of activities that directly connect students to engineering professionals and influence the educations programs and pathways to engineering careers.

The ‘Futures in Engineering’ (FIE) program is Tasmania’s main staff-led activity led, which offers high impact ‘taster days’ to students in years 9-12 who have an active interest in careers in engineering.

The FIE program has run successfully in a range of formats for over 10 years with active collaboration from industry partners, University of Tasmania, Australian Maritime College and the Department of Education. In 2019 the program will include activities in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie, reaching over 150 students.

The FIE program builds on interest in engineering generated by other STEM programs targeted towards younger students such as the Science and Engineering Challenge, which inspires over 2000 students in grades 9 and 10 each year through hands-on activities.

The FIE and Challenge programs and others provide opportunities for members to be directly involved in inspiring students, supporting teachers, informing parents, and generally contributing to our efforts to engage the next generation. 

Additional programs and activities led by Engineers Australia in Tasmania include:

  • ‘Diverse Connections’ University of Tasmania Student and Industry networking night
  • Driving Diversity scholarships for first year University of Tasmania female engineering students
  • Career case studies: profiles of Tasmanian engineering professionals on a national database of career options
  • Contributions to working groups and discussions with the Department of Education, including curriculum review
  • Speaking at Careers Expos in high schools and Colleges to targeted audiences of students who are keen to learn more about engineering careers
  • Contributions to planning for state wide events for National Science Week.

By exposing students to the opportunities in STEM, we can ensure that future engineering graduate numbers to meet workforce demands.

Do you want to get involved?

If you are keen to share your passion for the engineering profession, we have several opportunities for Engineers Australia members to take an active role in our STEM outreach programs:

Science and Engineering Challenge:

Volunteer for a day (or more) in the Science and Engineering Challenge events in Hobart, Burnie and Launceston; this is a fun and noisy day supporting students in grades 9 and 10 as they work through practical challenges in small groups.

2019 Tasmanian Challenge Series will be held on the following dates:

  • North-West: 20th and 21st May
  • Launceston 23rd and 24th May
  • Hobart: 28th–31st May
  • Tasmania State Final (Hobart): 4th June

Volunteers will commit to attend from 8.00am – 3.00pm.

Register directly with program coordinators University of Tasmania to be involved.

Engineers Australia members are also able to make a financial donation to Rotary Tasmania to help fund the operation of the Science & Engineering Challenge – these funds directly support the delivery of the Challenge to two thousand high school students around Tasmania.

For details on how to make a donation to the Challenge (direct to Rotary Tasmania), please contact the EA Tasmania office at [email protected].

Register your interest with Engineers Australia Tasmania:

Engineers Australia Tasmania is building a pool of volunteers available for other STEM outreach activities, with upcoming opportunities including:

  • Inspiring the public as part of the Engineers Australia booth at the public Festival of Bright Ideas in Hobart, in August
  • Helping students and parents understanding engineering career paths as part of the University of Tasmania Open Days in Burnie, Hobart and Launceston in August
  • Speaking to Year 10, 11 and 12 students at school (who regularly contact Engineers Australia seeking an engineering professional to share their passion for their profession).

You can register your interest here.