In support of Australian Engineering Week 2015 (3-9 August), VU hosted an exciting, hands-on event to promote engineering and science careers to female secondary school students.
The workshop, Engineering: A Great Career for Girls, introduced students from Years 8 through to 10 to e-textile design techniques used to create ‘wearable technology’ and structural engineering techniques used to create designs that would withstand seismic waves (Tsunami).
Dr Juan Shi, Senior Lecturer in VU’s College of Engineering and Science, welcomed participants with a presentation on Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) and VU’s engineering and science course offerings. Inspirational presentations by VU alumni followed, with topics covering research and careers in science education, electrical and electronic engineering and mechanical engineering.
Working in teams of two, the students then created their own fashion designs using a LilyPad Arduino microcontroller and other electronic components. Finished designs were sewn to fabric with conductive thread and programmed using Arduino software to incorporate light and audio effects. Students were invited to submit their garments for a showcase at the National Science Week Energised Fashion Runway.
In the Tsunami lab, student teams applied principles of design, stability, structural engineering and knowledge of wave motion to construct structures which could endure the seismic forces of a computer-controlled wave simulation tank.
Exciting and accessible STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) workshops to engage high school students with STEM career opportunities are just one aspect of VU’s ongoing dedication to promoting STEM disciplines.