Inspiring Next Gen Female Engineers

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Newcastle University students run Robogals workshops to get more girls into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths  

2014 was a big year for Robogals Newcastle. Over a period of just 12 months, the fledging start-up taught robotics to 1,788 girls, as a way to show them the possibilities of a career in engineering.

Robogals is a grassroots initiative that aims to engage young girls in engineering, through the practical application of basic engineering, robotics and programming. Run entirely by volunteer university students, the Robogals Newcastle chapter hold robotics workshops for girls aged 5-8, who use programmable robots to learn the principals of engineering in a fun and creative way.

Robogals (www.robogals.org) was established to encourage children to make things, whether through a robotics workshop, computer programming or engineering site visits to show children how the things they learn in the classroom, directly apply to real world applications.

With young women accounting for just 14% of university engineering courses, the workshops target young females who may never have considered a role in engineering.  

WesTrac Announce Partnership with Robogals

WesTrac is throwing open the doors of its Tomago facility near Newcastle, providing Robogals' volunteers with site visits and access to some of the finest engineering and technical staff in the Hunter Valley.

The first tour of 20 Robogals volunteers to WesTrac’s Tomago facility will take place in July and according to Greg Graham, Chief Executive of WesTrac NSW and the ACT, the partnership couldn’t have come at a better time.

“WesTrac is currently reviewing our graduate recruitment program and we are targeting a more diverse range of graduates next year, in particular women. Females bring a unique and diverse range of skills into any business and we believe WesTrac will benefit from greater female participation within our ranks.”

WesTrac currently employ five female General Managers and one female Group Executive at Seven Group Holdings (WesTrac’s parent company) proving there are no limits to where successful women can go within WesTrac.

“Male or female, we want intelligent and ambitious graduates who are keen to learn and open to a variety of career paths. Robogals is the ideal fit for a strategic partner and we look forward to working with the team in the years to come” says Greg.

Elizabeth Capararo, Vice President and Partnerships Manager for the Newcastle chapter, believes WesTrac is the perfect candidate to provide opportunities to both the student volunteers, and the children they teach. "We look forward to working with WesTrac to bring WesTrac's opportunities and positive influence into the classroom,” says Elizabeth.

Supporting Female Engineers

Engineers are globally in short supply, with Australian universities producing only half of the graduates needed to fill domestic demand. According to the Australian National Engineering Taskforce (ANET) the shortfall in engineering capacity has far-reaching effects on industry and infrastructure development in Australia, constraining innovation and growth.

This is compounded by a higher dropout rate for female engineering and technology students. The Newcastle University chapter will work with WesTrac to offer female engineering and technology students a support network and outreach facility to help guide them through to study completion, and into the industry.

 

For further information contact:

Danielle Bull | WesTrac General Manager Marketing Communications

T: (02) 9840 4642| F: (02) 9840 4689 | M: 0477 334 887