Techtrails comes to Manjimup SHS

On Thursday 22 November the WITWA team had the pleasure of visiting Manjimup Senior High School to deliver our penultimate STEM incursion for the year. Our fabulous group of local STEM professionals, industry experts and entrepreneurs shared their stories and experiences with an energetic and enthusiastic cohort of year 9 girls and boys.

Curious as to who our speakers were?

Take a closer look at our Manjimup SHS STEM & Future Skills Program Handbook.  

Perhaps you would like to be part of a future Techtrail incursion in 2019? We would love to have you involved. Simply reach out and get in touch. We promise it will be fun!

Techtrails visits Fremantle College in June 2018

Our latest Techtrails STEM & Future Skills was held on Friday 22 June 2018 with 8 Industry STEM professionals and 3 Women in Technology WA representatives visiting year 9 students at Fremantle College in Western Australia.

This fabulous group of local STEM professionals, industry experts and entrepreneurs shared their stories and experiences with an energetic and enthusiastic cohort of girls and boys. Curious as to who our speakers were?

Take a closer look at our Fremantle College STEM & Future Skills Program Handbook.  Perhaps you would like to be part of a future Techtrail? Reach out and get in touch. We promise it will be fun!

It's a wrap: techtrails visits Geraldton to close off a big year

On 30 November the WiTWA team delivered our final techtrails STEM & Future Skills Incursion for 2017. Capping off a full program of 10 incursions throughout the year, our final event saw us visit Geraldton Senior College (www.gsc.wa.edu.au).  With a cohort of amazing STEM and industry role models we presented to over 170 students from both Geraldton Senior College and John Willcock College (www.johnwillcock.wa.edu.au).

Thank you to all who made this event possible, and especially to our generous group of STEM professionals for making themselves available and agreeing to share their personal techtrail stories to inspire the next generation:

  • Ms Bindi Isbister from the Department of Agriculture and Food who shared her exciting career which has seen her work as a researcher and agronomist with farmers and agricul suppliers across Australia to help farmers apply new technologies.

  • Suzy Jackson from the CSIRO who has designed receivers and electronics for some of the biggest radio telescopes in the world, and is now working at the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, in the Murchison.

  • Shane Adams who is a Marine Technician with the Royal Australian Navy.  

  • Jen Hanrahan, Director, Owner and Web Designer from Blaze Digital, who used her unique skills to work with a global team of web developers and local graphic designers to build and manage websites for a broad range of businesses in Geraldton and Australia wide.

  • Belinda Lycett Lecturer of Applied and Environmental Sciences at Central Regional TAFE. In her role she is able to work within an operational laboratory setting as well as in the field; and of course teach at the same time. 

  • Angharad Thomas and Danii Baron-Heeris from Scitech, Perth who brought the Scitech Robotics Challenge to Geraldton.

  • Darren Lomman, Executive Officer, Bloom and Managing Director, Green Batch, as well as Director of Youth Innovation, St Catherine College @ UWA inspired the students after lunch with his interactive workshop on repurposing plastics to save our oceans.

Our special thanks also goes to Hazel Snell from Geraldton Senior College and Hollie Roberts from John Willcock College for their work and support in enabling us to bring this initiative to Geraldton.  We also acknowledge the support provided by the Australian Government enabling us to deliver techtrails to thousands of secondary school students in WA throughout 2017.

First techtrials for Teachers event at John Curtin College in Fremantle

On October 31, 2017, the first techtrails for Teachers STEM & Future Skills Event which aimed to inspire, connect and demystify the jobs of the future for our educators was run at John Curtin College in Fremantle. This event was attended by school principals, deputy principals, teachers, careers counsellors and educators. 

WiTWA’s techtrails incursions program is designed to generate passion, excitement and interest in technology and science based careers to motivate secondary students to explore and pursue related study and career opportunities. Acknowledging the declining numbers of students choosing technology, science and engineering career paths, WiTWA has been able to excite and inspire in excess of 2,000 WA students to increase their awareness and participation in STEM as a career option whilst broadening their knowledge of and participation in the innovation system as a whole since it’s inception in 2011.

Thanks to Australian Government grant funding and industry partners, WiTWA is able to supplement the techtrails STEM incursion program with techtrails for teachers events in October and November 2017. This techtrails for teachers events was specifically designed to enable teachers, careers advisors and educators to hear from and network with a range of technology and entrepreneurial STEM professionals, showcasing a current industry perspective and tangible examples of the application of STEM skills in future proofing our next generation.

To make this event such a success, our thanks go to:

  • Prof Lyn Beazley, Patron of WiTWA
  • Anitra Robertson, Surgical RealitiesJessica Baldwin & Jennifer Davies, Kinetic IT
  • Susan Kreemer Pickford Engineers Australia (WA)
  • Erica Haddon, RAC
  • Swati Sharma & Kate Langdale, British Telecom at Fiona Stanley Hospital and
  • the wonderful teams at The Institute for Professional Learning and
  • John Curtin Secondary College.
     

WiTWA techtrails visits Ocean Reef SHS & Belridge Secondary College

In October, the WiTWA team brought our techtrails STEM & Future Skills Incursion to Ocean Reef SHS (www.oceanreef.wa.edu.au), where we presented to 150+ year 9 students from Ocean Reef SHS and Belridge Secondary College. For this incursion we had another fantastic and inspirational group of STEM professionals, industry experts and entrepreneurs meet the students and share their stories and experiences. Thank you to all who made this event possible, and especially to our generous group of STEM professionals for making themselves available and agreeing to share their personal techtrail stories to inspire the next generation:

  • Lakshini Weerasekera, Harry Perkin Institute for Medical Research
  • Alex Hickling, WA Museum
  • Nikki Foster & Para O'Kelly, Thoughtworks
  • Hilary Goh, Mine Vision Systems
  • Kirsten Flint, Scitech
  • Jessica Kemp, Shell Australia
  • Ellie Sansom, Desert Fireball Network
  • Trevor Dunstan, Kinetic IT

The students from both schools were an absolutely pleasure to meet and all staff involved made the occasion a seamless and fun day. Our special thanks to Karon Brooks, Principal of Ocean Reef SHS, Maggie Glover, VET and Workplace Learning Coordinator Ocean Reef SHS, Warren Smith, Deputy Principal Ocean Reef SHS, as well as John Burke, Principal Belridge Secondary College and Liz Cassidy, Technology and Enterprise, Belridge Secondary College.

We would also like to acknowledge the support provided by the Australian Government enabling us to deliver techtrails throughout 2017.

WITWA techtrails STEM incursion @Warnbro Community College

Thank you Kya Graves, Principal and the wonderful teaching staff at Warnbro Community College for hosting our 7th WITWA techtrails STEM incursion for the year. We were joined by Professor Lyn Beazley, Patron of WITWA for our opening session, with Darren Lomman from Bloom Labs as one of our STEM role models who presented to the year 9 students.

Regional Techtrails 2017 @Bunbury Senior High School

Thanks to an amazing lineup of inspiring STEM professionals, our recent techtrails STEM incursion to Bunbury Senior High School made for an energetic, fun and inspiring day for students, teachers and presenters alike. It was wonderful to receive such positive feedback from Kelly Anderson, Deputy Principal (Academic Performance):

"Techtrails was a great opportunity for our students to connect with passionate and knowledgeable professionals from STEM related careers. The sessions students participated in today were engaging and gave them a glimpse into their own possible futures. Our students, living in a regional area, often have less exposure to these range of people and ideas. The room was buzzing at the end of the day, and I think techtrails will have a lasting impact on these students.  Thank you Women in Technology WA for bringing techtrails to our school."  

This was only made possible thanks to the efforts by the following presenters who took time out of their busy schedules to join us for the day in Bunbury:

  • Katie Van Den Brand, Maker + Co Bunbury
  • Darren Lomman, Executive Officer, Bloom & Managing Director, Green Batch
  • Jessica Baldwin, Kinetic IT
  • Anitra Robertson, Surgical Realities
  • Dr Simon Carroll, Western Australian Museum
  • Holly Hyder, Geographe Enterprises
  • Dr Mary Turonek & Carol Kane, FB Rice
  • Tamsyn Garby & Aimee Deane, Scitech
  • Katie Biggs, Busselton Water

Our appreciation also goes out to Carol Strauss & Leisa Aitken from Ashdale Secondary College, as well as Stephen Carroll, Director, RSM Australia, for helping the WiTWA Committee deliver our 7th techtrails incursion in 2017.  Finally, our thanks to Kelly Anderson and the team at Bunbury SHS for making us all feel so welcome and being great hosts on the day. You can be very proud of your students!

Our next techtrails incursion is all ready for delivery and will see us visiting the year 9 students at Warnbro Community College on 23 August.

 

 

techtrails @ 2016 Perth Science Festival

On the glorious winter weekend of 13-14 August WiTWA brought its highly successful techtrails progam to the Perth Science Festival. techtrails is an initiative developed to cater for the growing needs for skilled workers for the STEM sectors. This unique incursion programme addresses in particular the lack of Generations Y and Z studying in this field, leading to a future shortage of suitably skilled individuals available in the Technology and Engineering workforce. It targets primarily public and independent public schools with a particular focus on schools that are regional or remotely located, have strong science and technology focus, or have little or no opportunity to present their students with career choices.

Our participation at Perth Science Festival as one of over 50 interactive stalls, in the Perth Cultural Centre marked a significant but highly successful departure from our usual engagement mechanism with secondary students in a school setting. Our interactive panel of over 25 prominent STEM professionals, across a range of industries demonstrated their work to students, their families and the wider community and highlighted the important role science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation play in modern workplaces and future career choices.

We had fabulous interactive sessions including presentations on drone technologies by Chris Leslie of Airscope Industries and Nick Sargeant of Global Unmanned Systems, who had the audience enthralled about the commercial applications of drones, and the possible careers that are opening up in this brand new industry sector. We also had brilliant presentations by Siobhan Stuart, the first female Marine Engineer in the Royal Australian Navy to work on the submarine fleet and her colleague Sean Dowling, who showcased some of the technologies and life support systems available in modern submarines.  

Abbey Potter an entomologist with the Department of Health, brought along a squadron of mosquitoes that the audience could inspect under a microscope drawing a combined sense of fascination and repulsion  from the audience about the environments, physiology and lifecycle of theses pesky  little kritters. Ella Ganfield was a big hit with some of our younger audience members showing off who to do robotics coding, whilst Dr Paola Magni provided some fascinating insights into forensics and crime scene investigations. 

Aggie, the art expert and robot tour guide with the Art Gallery of WA delighted the audience with some cool dance moves whilst the audience was able to interact with our speakers from a range of different disciplines and organisations including Microsoft, Google, Chevron Australia, the Harry Perkins institute, Curtin University, Milne Agri Group, BHP Billiton, Seven West Media and Murdoch University, to name but a few.

techtrails patron and former Chief Scientist of WA, Prof Lyn Beazley said that the program delivered as part of National Science Week, was a resounding success and provided many insights, fun and inspiration to the many people that came to our stall. We had some delicious brownies offered to everyone that came along, kindly made by the home economics students at Ashdale Secondary College with a sensational Nigella Lawson recipe. The whole weekend was captured on video, including speaker interviews and event highlights by the fantastic multimedia students from Ashdale SHS. Keep an eye out on our Techtrails page to view the video!

None of this would have been possible without the generous support of our event sponsors, the Department of Local government and Communities, UWA Faculty of Engineering and Mathematics, Kinetic IT, Scitech, Ashdale Secondary High School as well as our many fantastic presenters and contributors.