Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Ready, GET SET, Go!

Last Friday I got to meet 60 girls in College thinking about studying engineering. I was on my best Glambassador behaviour as the ANU hosted these girls for the day. (I prefer the term Glambassador to Ambassador because I feel it better represents me).

We took them around to 4 different workshops relating to renewable energy, systems engineering, humanitarian engineering and biomedical engineering. I spent the day at the renewable energy workshop where we proved that red wind turbines actually do go faster.

Here's a photo of a (pretty cardboard) turbine that a student made. It had an efficiency of two percent! I had to take a photo of the yellow one because the red was just too fast to capture. (For any non-science people, this is a joke and red does not make things go faster).

I never had an opportunity like this. I was asked to speak to the girls at the beginning about why I chose engineering and I realised that it was a reeeeally last minute decision (the day before applications closed) sparked by my encounter with some Canadian engineering students that I met overseas. I had never even realised that engineering was a degree you could study and something you could be a professional in. It sounds stupid now, but the idea was just never presented to me. I was really jealous of these girls last week who were able to see all of these things and also learn about systems engineering too.

I'm definitely going to write an email to my old school telling them to get on board with ANU's Get Set program. It could have saved me a lot of time wondering what I wanted to do! (Not that I regret spending 7 months overseas on my gap year “finding myself”).

I think the ways of getting girls involved in degrees like engineering are a lot simpler than people think. Planting the seed in the girls' mind is all we need to do! They already know they like maths or science or teamwork or whatever it is, but they just need to be shown that these are all things we get to do in engineering!


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