Inspiring STEM pathways

Flinders University will present a three-day STEM Enrichment Conference from 1 to 3 July 2019, to inspire Year 9 girls and their teachers in South Australia to engage with STEM subjects in higher education.

The conference program will explore science and innovation with a particular focus on physics and engineering through talks by Australia’s top researchers, hands-on workshops, tours, industry-focused talks, moderated round table discussions and professional development workshops for teachers.

Plenary speakers include internationally recognised materials scientist, engineer and innovator Professor Veena Sahajawlla, who is revolutionising recycling science through her work as founding director of UNSW’s Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology, and Dawn Summers, Chief Operating Officer of Beach Energy.

One of the workshops is led by physicist Dr Gail Iles. Dr Iles has a PhD in experimental physics from the UK and now works as a lecturer in physics at RMIT University. She came to Australia in 2014 to work as a scientist at ANSTO, where she used neutrons to explore the properties of materials such as structure, magnetism and superconductivity.  She was an astronaut instructor at the European Astronaut Centre in Germany and holds a medal for extensive time spent experimenting in zero gravity. In 2011, she was presented the WISE Champion Award by HRH Princess Anne, for inspiring children, particularly girls, to study STEM subjects.

In Dr Iles’ workshop, students will need to ‘survive in space’ by completing systems engineering tasks and following astronaut-style procedures.

Also presenting at the workshops will be Toby Hendy, who makes videos about physics, mathematics and astronomy for her popular YouTube channel Tibees; Renowned Tasmanian physics teacher Jason Dicker; and Dr David Hoxley, physicist at La Trobe University.

All of the 12 hands-on workshops have been developed to match the South Australian Year 9 curriculum and will be delivered by leading academics from Flinders University, UNSW, ANU, RMIT, La Trobe and a host of industry leaders. There are also four dedicated Teacher Skills Development Workshops.

A special Women in STEM networking breakfast will be held on Day 2 of the conference, featuring addresses from prominent physicists and Tall Poppy Award winners.

Staff are invited to share the event with colleagues – to register contact

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