North Rockhampton State High School Vice School Captain Sarah Coker and Dream Big project founder and CQU engineering student Jessica Kahl
North Rockhampton State High School Vice School Captain Sarah Coker and Dream Big project founder and CQU engineering student Jessica Kahl Zhanae Conway-Dodd

Rocky women breaking the engineering stereotype

SITTING in science class in year eight, Sarah Coker's love for engineering was ignited.

She is now in year 12 and the North Rockhampton High School student is undertaking projects through CQUniversity to further her knowledge in the field.

With the Rockhampton campus's O-week kicking off this week, Sarah had the chance to spend yesterday at the uni partaking in the Dream Big Project.

The project was founded by current CQU engineering student, Jessica Kahl, and encourages women to look into the field as a possible career option.

Having already been running for three years, yesterday was all about engaging, empowering and educating young girls.

"We really wanted to show these girls the opportunities available in the profession. I have seen first hand what you can do with the job. You can travel, you have a great salary, you meet some wonderful people and we really want to showcase to the girls that it's not about maths any more, it's about your team work and interpersonal skills,” Jessica said.

"It is significantly important to get women into the industry because it injects fresh ideas into our workplaces and that is incredibly important for getting the most out of your business decisions.”

Sarah who is also a Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) ambassador said the project saw several school students come together to try their hand in different types of engineering.

"It's the dream big project and we're exploring engineering and females in engineering and how we can do stuff for the community and as a career,” she said.

"We made an LED light, we had a chance to experience different types of engineering.”

Sarah said she enjoyed having a chance to apply theories in a practical sense throughout the day.

"It's really cool and there is so many different fields you can explore, it's not limited to one thing,” she said.

"Being a QMEA ambassador opens up a lot of opportunities for me to go away and do different events in engineering, maths and science fields.

"My role as an ambassador is to promote engineering and maths and science to younger students who are going through high school and hopefully get a career in that area. It's definitely not far out of reach. It's a male dominated industry at the moment, but it's definitely changing and there's more women in those fields.

"I say go for it, break the status quo.”

Sara wants to combine engineering and medical science in her future studies.



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