Girls investigate STEM at uni
IT WAS a girls-only road trip for 13 students as they donned lab coats at the University of Southern Queensland this week.
The students from Charleville to Toogoolawah, visited Toowoomba for a Darling Downs South West Girls STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) event where they met with USQ nursing and astronomy academic staff.
The students, from Years 9, 10 and 11, were chosen for their high achievement in Stem-related subjects at school and active interest in their school community.
After a chilly but aweinspiring night of star gazing with astronomer Rodger Macqueen, the group printed 3D models with tech-superstar Stephanie Piper from USQ Library Engagement.
For 14-year old Vaani Bhatt from Toogoolawah State High School, the session on nursing was of particular interest given her dream to go into medicine.
Senior Lecturer (Nursing) Coralie Graham shared her personal journey of growing up on a property in Central Queensland, including the challenges and opportunities she faced on her quest to become a scientist.
“It was really important to tell these young regional women that ‘I was you’. I started in the same place,” Dr Graham said.
“Just because you’ve grown up in the country, don’t think you can’t do science – if you want a career in a STEM profession, you can do it.”
In addition to hearing from Dr Graham and touring USQ’S simulated nursing wards, the group spoke with USQ Nursing student Sally Pomerenke about her nursing experiences during a recent placement in rural Vietnam.