STEM Inspiration Excursion - Year 9
We had a terrific morning of networking and hands-on STEM activities with entrepreneurial women in Science and Technology in Geelong.
Leanne Collins, Director of The Geelong Tech School, which opens mid-2018, orchestrated the day at The Gordon. Our Year 8 and 9 students met and worked with 2012 'Young Australian of the Year' Marita Cheng.
Her story was amazing in how she kept changing direction in her work, and persisting despite knockback after knockback of her ideas. Ultimately, it became apparent that her 'modus operandi' was to seek need in society and innovate through engineering to meet those needs. The students were inspired by her ingenuity and grit.
These are some of the reflections of the girls who attended the STEM sessions:
Jo Hall - Marita's chat was inspirational. We also got to listen to other people's stories about how they came to their current position. No one had a straight 'path'. They all followed their passion.
Serena El-Hage – I thought it was amazing that kids got to design apps for the 'Upstart Challenge'. One idea that did well was Swimming goggles, which teenage girls designed with a 'lap counter' inside.
Alaina Peacock – I liked making music out of foil and household objects, some recycled. This was based on learning coding and using an electronic circuit. We learnt everything and could play 'Jingle Bells' in just one hour.
Rachel Molent – The quote that appealed to me was “need drives innovation”. It made sense. I was also inspired by Marita, who used her talents to help other people.
Kimi Seok-Nguyen - Integrating subjects such as Music and Electronics and Coding was really cool. It was fun making something that used all these skills.
Mikayla Sargison-Mcleod – I thought it was great that just about all the STEM speakers today used their engineering skills to help people.
Ella Jones - I want to help people. So I really liked the app that Marita Cheng designed, called 'Aipoly' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMdct-5bERQ. It was invented so blind people could use the visual recognition app to say the name of the objects and colours that it scans. It's 'real time' and does not need the internet.
By inspiring these young women in the STEM field, it is hoped that Christian College will have takers for the special STEM projects at the new Geelong Tech School next year. The skills developed through these collaborative projects will be useful lifelong skills for those jobs that have not even been 'invented' yet!