Some heroes wear lab coats, not capes

STEM Women Branching Out invites the entire Flinders community to come together for the University’s iconic annual Lab Coat Challenge event, in celebration of International Women’s Day and advancing women in STEMM.

Featuring guest speaker Flinders alumna Dr Carmen Da Silva – now a post-doctoral researcher at Monash University – the 2020 Lab Coat Challenge is the fifth annual event and set to be the University’s biggest and best yet, building on 2019’s record turnout.

In an extended format, attendees are strongly encouraged to participate in the group photo at 12:55pm. A prize will be awarded to the wearer of the best decorated lab coat – STEMM themed of course. Students can also dress up as their favourite female scientist if they wish.

Students will be issued with free lab coats on the day but must register for the event to receive their free coat. A small number of lab coats will be available for others to borrow – please email

Participants are welcome to stay and watch Calculating Ada on the big screen – the story of Ada Lovelace who helped give rise to the modern era of computing. Unlimited free popcorn will be served during most of the screening.

Flinders University was recently awarded Athena SWAN Bronze Accreditation in recognition of its ongoing efforts towards gender equity. This reflects the commitment of its broad community, from students to leadership and every staff member,  towards encouraging, recognising, and advancing the careers of women in academia. Delivered in Australia by Science in Australia Gender Equity, the Athena SWAN program initially focused on STEMM disciplines but has grown to promote equality for all women across academia, including professional staff and across disciplines.

Put together by Flinders University’s STEM Women Branching Out group, participants from any gender are welcome to come along to the Plaza on 11 March and ‘strike a pose’ in support of #EachforEqual, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day (on Sunday March 8.)  Please register online.

When: Wednesday, 11 March 2020 12:45pm to 2:00pm followed by film
Where: Plaza at Bedford Park
Please register for this free event

Event schedule

11am – ‘Pimp up’ your lab coat – Best STEMM-decorated lab coat wins
12.45pm – Welcome address by Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling
12.55pm – Lab Coat Challenge official photo
1.05pm – Guest speaker Dr Carmen Da Silva
1.20pm – Prize announcement
1.40pm to 4pm – Movie screening Calculating Ada, including free popcorn and fairy floss

Event organisers are aiming to exceed last year’s 241 participants in the Lab Coat Challenge
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