On Saturday 20 July, 120 female high school students attended the Engineers Australia 'Experience It! Women in Engineering Student Conference' in Sydney.
The day provided the students with an opportunity to immerse themselves in engineering while being surrounded by other students who shared their passion for STEM.
Australian National University students Jay, Lina and Chaahat enjoyed facilitating the “Floating Houses” workshop, an activity that highlights what can be achieved with the skills and knowledge of an engineer.
"The Engineers Without Borders designed workshop “floating houses” is built around "Human-Centered Design", and urges the students to seek inspiration from, and empathise with the community they're designing for," said Jay.
"In this case, it was the remote communities in Cambodia whose houses sit on the edge of a floodplain and have to live half their lives on houses which have to float, or sit on stilts,’ he explained.
The workshop got messy and loud as the students raced to compete for the best design which would float under the biggest load. But with a limited budget and a short timeframe, the students also gained an all-important appreciation of searching for an appropriate solution within the context of the Cambodian communities.
ANU engineering student Lina said that it was exciting to see the girls so immersed in problem solving, and learning about engineering throughout the humanitarian themed workshop.
"I have conducted a few other workshops before and I see that girls are often more reflective of the social and environmental impact in engineering.
Women in engineering bring diverse viewpoints within the team and that cultivates creativity, which is highly necessary for solving problem, plus, helping the team to cater better for the society’s need all together,” said Lina.
During the afternoon, the students were able to learn more about engineering’s exciting and diverse career opportunities by connecting with a panel of women from industry during a Q&A session.
If you would like to know more about engineering or what you can do as an engineer, join us at ANU Open Day 2018