Showing the exciting world of maths and science, and highlighting the opportunities for females in traditionally male-dominated fields are the aims of the inaugural Year 9 Girls Summer School at the University of Newcastle.
One hundred and eighty girls from around 60 schools across NSW, some from as far away as Broken Hill, Wagga Wagga and Norfolk Island, will spend the next five days immersed in the worlds of maths, science and technology.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Kevin McConkey, said the (Yr9) GIRLS + MATHS + SCIENCE = CHOICES SUMMER SCHOOL aimed to develop girls' confidence in their abilities.
"The Summer School takes a dynamic and unique approach to opening up the world of scientific thinking through creative problem solving," Professor McConkey said.
"The activities we have planned revolve around science, maths and engineering themes. We aim to help young girls realise the pathways to exciting and interesting careers in the innovative technical professions."
Across the five days of the summer school the girls will hear about the wonders of space science, get hands-on experience in multimedia including podcasting, take a closer look at artificial intelligence, and compete in the science arena.
They will hear from young females working as architects, mechanical and chemical engineers, construction managers and physicists. They will also go on field trips to local industries and have fun at the movies and the beach.
Professor McConkey said the number and range of applications for the Summer School was impressive.
"We had around 350 applications for the 180 places available to students who have the ability but may not have the opportunity to experience such an event. For some it is their first visit to a university and their first visit to the Hunter."
Photo opportunities are available across the week, including:
- Monday 10 December at 1.45pm in the McMullin Theatre - The Archie Girder Show. Students will see straws pushed through raw potatoes and watch an egg not crack under pressure as they look at the strength of different structures.
- Wednesday 12 December at 11am in the Life Sciences Theatre - Robotics. Students will learn about artificial intelligence and robotics by manipulating and controlling demonstration robots.
- Friday 14 December at 9.45am at The Forum Sports and Aquatic Centre. Students will compete in the Final of the Science and Engineering Mini-Challenge.
Professor Kevin McConkey is available for interview via contacting Blythe Hamilton.