On Wednesday 6 June, 10 girls visited the University of Adelaide, City Campus to participate in the Young Women in Technology day. Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences (ECMS) were the major focus of the day.
We started the day by listening to a female speaker working in ECMS. She spoke to us about how she got into this field and told us about what we can do to explore a pathway in engineering and maths. This was followed by a representative from the university’s major sponsor, Santos, who spoke about her experience as a woman working in a STEM career.
We then headed off to our first activity. Our goal was to engineer a series of two types of pipe so each household of three towns received an equal amount of water from the reservoir. This was very challenging because it was extremely hard to get the difference between the three water levels to be less than 100ml. Problem solving, teamwork and trial and error were used to complete this task.
Our second activity was based around science. In small groups, we had to smell 10 unlabelled fragrances and match them up with the 15 possibilities we were given. Following that, we watched a video on how to make perfume and got the opportunity to make some ourselves. We chose the scents we wanted and mixed them with ethanol and food colouring to create our very own perfume.
We then went to the virtual reality room to learn about Petroleum Engineering. In the theatre everyone had the opportunity to put on a virtual reality headset and experience an oil platform in the Mediterranean Sea. Even though we knew that we were in the Adelaide University Theatre, it really felt like we were on the oil platform. We then went to a lecture room to listen to a presentation from a Petroleum Engineer. He told us about the future job growth in the field of Petroleum Engineering and the different opportunities we may experience if we chose to study in this field.
After lunch, we listened to the University of Adelaide’s Motorsport Team talk about how to use physics to design and build the fastest possible car. We were challenged to create the fastest possible car. We were given a body for the car, which basically was a small block of wood with wheels attached to it, and a budget of $100 million dollars! We were able to build our car out of the following materials: plasticine, which cost $10 million; 15 gram weights, which cost $15 million; and 5 gram weights, which cost $8 million. We were also able to purchase test runs for $5 million dollars each. After being taught some basic physics, we were then able to create our very own car. After 20 minutes, it was time to stop building and testing and begin the race. Both MMC teams won one race. It was a fun filled activity.
On behalf of the students who attended the Young Women in Technology day, I would like to thank the science teachers for coordinating the event and accompanying us on the day. I would also like to thank former MacKillop students, Jessica Jurjevic and Georgina Carter, whose friendly nature helped make the day so enjoyable.
Emily & Pia
Year 10 Students