Janita Ray working with students at the STEM Aspirations Day on Friday.
Janita Ray working with students at the STEM Aspirations Day on Friday. Maddelin McCosker

CQ students dreaming of future careers in STEM fields

GRADE six student Taleya Brooker wants to one day become an architect.

She says she loves learning about science and maths because she enjoys problem solving and experiments.

"I especially love maths because it's all about equations and we have to figure things out and with science it's like a big mystery of what's going to happen if you're doing an experiment,” she said.

Taleya Brooker from Parkhurst State.
Taleya Brooker from Parkhurst State. Maddelin McCosker

It's students just like Taleya that CQUniveristy and The Department of Education are hoping to attract to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) fields with their STEM Aspirations Day.

Along with the universities STEM Power Girl Ambassadors, the event works to inspire young students to follow their passion and look at the possibility of a career in a STEM field.

Wes Heberlein, the universities School Outreach Co-ordinator, said programs like this are great to get regional kids excited about university.

Janita Ray (far left) and Wes Heberlein (far right) with the STEM Power Girl Ambassadors.
Janita Ray (far left) and Wes Heberlein (far right) with the STEM Power Girl Ambassadors. Maddelin McCosker

"It's definitely more challenging, [going to university] even for regional students from cities like Rockhampton compared to their metropolitan counterparts,” he said.

"They're half as likely to go to university, and the chances are even less likely again for students from areas like Moura.

"It is really important that we run these days.

"It's just a really good opportunity for the students in year six to see some people that might be doing things that they could do in the future.”

Trinity and Lilly from Parkhurst State School were excited to solve the maths and science problems.
Trinity and Lilly from Parkhurst State School were excited to solve the maths and science problems. Maddelin McCosker

Mr Heberlein said that not all of the students were as excited for the prospect of university as others.

"University isn't for everybody,” he said.

"There's plenty of options out there and it's just about them finding the right option for them.”

Janita Ray, STEM Champion for the Department of Education in the Central Queensland region said the Department of Education would like to see more young girls, like Taleya, get involved in STEM fields.

Janita Ray with some of the STEM Power Girl Embassadors.
Janita Ray with some of the STEM Power Girl Embassadors. Maddelin McCosker

"The department of education is focussing on girls participation in particular because we're seeing that they aren't taking up the [STEM] fields and we really need to have them there,” she said.

"It's about opening up opportunities for them.

"It's all about exposing students to different avenues and with the 21st century, our skills are changing, the jobs that are available now most likely wont be there when they're older and a lot of the jobs they will move into haven't been created yet.”



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