Girls in­ves­ti­gate STEM at uni

Gatton Star - - NEWS -

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.

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