Fostering female engineers of the future

VU has inspired the next generation of women in engineering with exciting science and technology activities for high school students.

The full day event, hosted by Quantum Victoria, was attended by over 100 female students from schools across Victoria.

Workshops run by staff and students of VU’s College of Engineering and Science included:

  • Electronic fashion design: using Lilypad Arduino microcontrollers, students created programmable textiles with colourful LED lights, sensors and buzzers sewn onto fabric using conductive thread.
  • Soundwave perception: students created their own tones to associate with an action, using a square, triangle and sine wave generator.
  • Subversive destruction: a workshop focusing on the exciting, wild, and sometimes dangerous science of chemical reactions.

Quantum Victoria hosted workshops on:

  • 3D design: students used CAD software to design 3D models for printing using 3D printers.
  • Robotics: students reverse-engineered the navigation algorithms of a robot vacuum cleaners to create the ultimate defensive robot.
  • Materials of the future: students got hands-on with the memory metal, Nitinol, to determine its restoring properties.

As well as workshops, the day included a keynote address by VU graduate and structural engineer Emma Buis and a Q& A panel with VU, Quantum and Engineers Australia.

Participating in this event was one example of VU Women in Science and Engineering’s (WISE) commitment to providing encouragement to female students in the College of Engineering and Science and the broader community. WISE organises regular activities to welcome and support female students such as seminars and workshops featuring female engineers, scientists and IT professionals from industry.

While supporting current students, WISE also focuses on inspiring future generations of women to choose engineering and science careers by organising hands-on workshops in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) disciplines for secondary school students.

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