Jil­lian show­ing women a fu­ture

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Shirley Way shirley.way@cnbtimes.com.au

WOMAN of In­flu­ence Jil­lian Kenny is a Bur­nett State Col­lege grad­u­ate who en­gi­neers cre­ative fu­tures for women.

Ms Kenny, a civil en­gi­neer who ex­cites women in Years 9–10 with her Power of En­gi­neer­ing work­shops (POW), was named a Young Leader in The Aus­tralian Fi­nan­cial Re­view and West­pac 100 Women of In­flu­ence Awards last week.

POW be­gan after an “en­gi­neer­ing could be cre­ative” con­ver­sa­tion with Felic­ity Bri­ody, with whom she is now de­vel­op­ing an in­ter­ac­tive maths app.

“It’s more of a game like Grand Theft Auto meets math,” Ms Kenny said.

“We will start with the con­text – prob­lems in fash­ion and sport – and teach how to solve them us­ing maths, and, ‘Look! You’ve learned an equa­tion’.

“When I was in Year 9, maths was very con­cep­tual and I thought ‘When I am I ever go­ing to use this’?”

“Now we’re civil en­gi­neers, we can see the rel­e­vance,” she said.

“The fact is that 75% of Aus­tralia’s fastest grow­ing oc­cu­pa­tions re­quire sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and maths (STEM) skills, yet the rate of ter­tiary com­ple­tions in as­so­ci­ated de­grees con­tin­ues to de­cline.

“We need to change the con­ver­sa­tion about STEM to show that th­ese fields are not just for cer­tain types of peo­ple – they are an ac­cess for ev­ery­one to make a con­tri­bu­tion to so­ci­ety.”

The 100 win­ners have been se­lected across 10 cat­e­gories. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.100womenofin­flu­ence.com.au.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

AWARD: Woman of In­flu­ence Jil­lian Kenny shares her pas­sion for maths and en­gi­neer­ing with stu­dents.

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