Pilbara students receive STEM inspiration

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
UWA staff and students with Rio Tinto cultural heritage officer Ken Mulvaney on a tour of the Burrup.
Camera IconUWA staff and students with Rio Tinto cultural heritage officer Ken Mulvaney on a tour of the Burrup. Credit: UWA

Students in the Pilbara were left inspired about a range of engineering disciplines after a visit from the University of Western Australia last month.

Five students from UWA’s Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences spent a week talking with about 1000 students from Roebourne District High School, St Luke's College, and Karratha Senior High School.

The trip was a part of a joint venture between Aspire UWA and the UWA Girls in Engineering Outreach Program, with the goal being to encourage students to aim high, keep their options open, and consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Aspire UWA school partnerships co-ordinator Sasha Peppinck said the schools appreciated the addition of Girls in Engineering sessions to the program with the ability to engage withUWA students.

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“I saw a significant impact in both the high school students and the engineering students as the week progressed,” she said.

“The students at the schools engaged with the UWA students during all classroom activities and asked many questions relating to student life and possible future studies.”

While in the Pilbara, the team from UWA led hands-on activities to provide insight into university life, inspire students towards a range of engineering disciplines, and promote the importance of gender diversity within STEM fields.

The experience was equally valuable for the UWA student volunteers, offering an opportunity to understand the region from educational, cultural and professional perspectives.

UWA electrical engineering student Jessica Khoo said seeing the enthusiasm of the local students during the activities was really wholesome.

“As someone who has never been to the Pilbara, visiting Karratha and having the opportunity to interact with the schools was really rewarding,” she said.

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