Allies on the subject of STEM
L-R: Claudia Novati, Felicity Furey and Katie Bell.
The Alliance of Girls’ Schools (AGSA) hosted a dinner at Abbotsleigh on 2 August where over 100 educators and school leaders gathered to network about teaching girls. The topic for the evening was on engaging girls in STEM subjects and careers – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Three graduates from all-girl schools who work in the STEM fields were on a panel led by Dr Maree Herret. The engineers included Felicity Furey (All Hallows QLD), Claudia Novati (Santa Sabina College) and Katie Bell (Abbotsleigh). These young women talked about their jobs, challenges and passion for engineering. When asked how they became interested in engineering, all identified with a significant teacher or parent that believed in them and their ability. They spoke about their study at University and the important skills learnt at school that they could bring to team project building. Engineering has given them a framework of structured system thinking which is transferable into different areas of problem solving. They all had encountered ethical issues around technology, business ethics and professional boundaries.
Science, Mathematics and Technology teachers engaged in a question and answer session with the panel. Exchange of professional ideas about girls and STEM continued into the evening. One message of the night was to ensure that girls studying STEM subjects understand the relevance of what they learn and its impact on society.