STEMming the Tide

We need more people in STEM subjects, especially girls!

Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, (STEM) are all subjects that are traditionally dominated by boys.

In an effort to buck the trend, Central hosted an interactive ‘Girls in STEM’ Open Day followed by a general STEM Open Day on the 19/20 June at the GreenSkills Centre in East Perth.

Year 10 and 11 girls from across the state answered the call.  Over fifty girls descended on East Perth from places as far and wide as Pinjarra and Lesmurdie, including indigenous girls from the Follow The Dream program.

This year’s program was co-funded by the Department of Education and the Schools Pathway program and built on a solid showing last year.

The open days showcased the diverse range of career options available through STEM pathways and helped smash the stereotype that STEM subjects are a ‘boy thing’.

The days were structured to give participants a chance to try their hand at a little bit of everything. The girls were divided into five groups and rotated through activities for five different STEM pathways including building, science, engineering, resources and IT.


Every activity featured a female STEM ambassador from Central to both answer questions and illustrate the opportunities STEM skills can lead to.

With STEM skills in increasingly high demand as business and governments look to adapt new technologies, innovations and solutions to create jobs, events such as this show potential students the vast career potential in this field.

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Engineering: It’s a girl thing

To encourage girls into the IT and Engineering industries, Central Institute of Technology joined forces with the WA Department of Education School Pathways Program, to organise a special, interactive two day event.

Fifteen girls, ranging from Year 10 to 12, were invited to participate to get a taste of what employment opportunities lay ahead.  The event included a site visit to BAE Systems Henderson Shipyard, talks with industry leaders and hands on learning experiences at Central Institute of Technology.

Following a tour of Central, the cohort of aspiring Engineers had the opportunity to try out a variety of disciplines to see what each involved. The students kicked off with Civil, Mechatronic, Electronics & Communications and Oil & Gas engineering activities at Central.


This included density testing for Oil & Gas, working with pneumatics for Mechatronics, designing a suburb for Civil, and circuit building for Electronics & Communications. Each activity was well received and gave the students a great overview of the broadness of the industry.

For aspiring IT and Networking professionals, the students had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with some key tools of the industry. They created small networks that communicate with each other and designed their own webpage too.

Oil & Gas2

The event speakers included leading women from the IT and Engineering industries including Water Corporation CEO, Sue Murphy, and Chevron Graduate Engineer, Alexandra Martin.  Moodle founder Martin Dougiamas also spoke to the group.

Each speaker provided the students with valuable insights concerning the need to attract more women to these industries and how these industries were critical to the ongoing development of the State.

The second day was dominated by the tour of BAE System’s Henderson Shipyard, which included an OHS induction and a tour of HMAS Warramunga.

The success of this inaugural event will see it cemented as an annual fixture, with plans to expand to include additional schools.