Bridge to education
CLIMBING and dancing atop the Story Bridge before chanting to all of Brisbane might seem a strange way to learn engineering but it worked for 14-year-old Mundubbera resident Jessica Keenan.
She attended a five-day Spark Engineering Camp, a Youth Without Borders initiative, during the June/July school holidays and said she now had a goal in mind.
“It was an amazing experience,” Jess said.
“I learned so much about engineering.”
Jess said she hoped to work in the field after finishing school and now knew what pathways to take to reach that goal.
She had to submit an essay as part of her selection for the camp and said she used “an engineer’s mind” to make an innovation in her community that showcased her aptitude for engineering.
Jess chose the riverside walk beneath Mundubbera’s Bicentennial Park, which has been damaged and suffered erosion after the two recent flood events.
“It was the best thing I have ever done. So much fun and I made so many new friends,” Jess said.
“The staff at camp were so supportive and kind.”
Day trips included a visit to CSIRO in Kenmore for the latest technology in robotics, where, under the guidance of specialist female engineers called Robo Gals, groups built LEGO robots with motors that could follow basic commands.
“On campus we did problem-solving and designing activities, attended lectures and motivational speeches,” Jess said. “I met Australian Defence Force Academy engineers who explained the engineering pathways that are available by joining the defence force. “Anyone who wants to learn more about engineering should apply for this camp.”
Sixty Australian students from Years 10–12 attended the Brisbane camp, while one held simultaneously in Melbourne included 40 students.
ONRIGHT PATH: Jessica Keenan chanting along with other engineering camp students at the top of Brisbane’s Story Bridge.