A project aimed at increasing young women’s awareness of the opportunities in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) was launched today at AGL Loy Yang.
The STEM Sisters project, which is the concept of Baw Baw Latrobe Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN), will allow young women to make better informed choices about studying STEM related subjects at secondary school and in higher education.
Today’s launch will see around 140 year nine female students from schools across Gippsland gather at AGL Loy Yang to hear from women successfully working in STEM roles in the region.
Keynote speaker Justine Barrett, who grew up in Yinnar, began her career as a scientific officer at Loy Yang A and is now studying a Masters in Marine and Antarctic Science in Tasmania, will share her story on how she was chosen to be one of 80 women with a science degree to take part in the ‘Homeward Bound’ expedition to Antarctica.
Guests will also hear from women working in STEM roles across Gippsland who are passionate about their work and want to help open doors for young women interested in similar career paths.
The STEM Sister ambassadors will support teachers in the classroom by explaining applications of STEM in industry or research and volunteer their time to promote STEM careers to secondary students.
AGL Loy Yang civil engineer and STEM Sister ambassador Sally Neenan said STEM careers were for everyone.
“Careers in science and technology are interesting, diverse and well paid but many young girls in the Latrobe Valley don’t consider STEM subjects in their VCE and tertiary plan and our industry is poorer for it,” Sally said.
“I was discouraged from getting into engineering as it was a ‘boys’ job’ and I’m passionate about turning this attitude around.”
AGL Loy Yang electrical apprentice Bonnie Coleman said careers in STEM and non-traditional roles were not encouraged when she was in school.
“I was told the subjects I wanted to study were ‘boys subjects’ and I want to make sure young girls don’t have to face the barriers I did, or if they do, I want to provide advice on how to overcome those barriers.”
The STEM Sisters project will take place throughout 2018 and include a range of activities aimed at encouraging young women to consider a career in STEM.
For details on the project contact Baw Baw Latrobe LLEN project broker Lisa Price at LisaPrice@bblllen.org.au or 0417 282 596.
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