University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus will come alive from 19-23 February 2018
with a brand new Festival of STEM and Entrepreneurship to inspire students to consider a future powered by science and technology skills. The Festival represents the University’s commitment to collaborating with high schools to increase awareness in students, particularly young women, in the value of developing strong science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) as well as an entrepreneurial mindset.
The Festival seeks to promote the message that Australian businesses will increasingly be looking to recruit people with STEM skills. The program lineup is intended to inspire students to chose subjects in high school that allow them to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines at tertiary level. Other sessions are designed to introduce students to the Australian innovation ecosystem.
Participating students will be exposed to a range of hands on workshops, including activities in the university’s many STEM facilities on campus such as Science Space and the Illawarra Flame House. They will also get a chance to discover the entrepreneurial startups in iAccelerate.
The Festival program is intended to empower, educate and increase students’ self-confidence, to encourage more women to take up STEM subjects and to help provide the next generation with the tools to succeed.
About the Festival
The University of Wollongong won funding for the Festival from the Australian Government’s Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship grants program.
Women make up over half of our population, yet only 28% of the employed STEM-qualified Australian workforce is female. The ability to fully realise Australia’s productivity potential and innovative capability into the future will depend on ensuring a sustainable skills pipeline and effectively attracting, developing and retaining women into the STEM workforce.
Coordinated and hosted by Science Space, the five-day Festival is also proudly supported by the university’s Innovation Campus, iAccelerate and the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre. Throughout the Festival, students will engage with and learn from STEM professionals and entrepreneurial role models. Participants will acquire increased knowledge and the self-confidence and skills they need to pursue careers in STEM & entrepreneurship.
The program is designed for students in Years 7-8, providing hands-on activities within the university’s labs and facilities, and at its startup business incubator, iAccelerate.
Festival role models
The Festival will ensure at least 50% representation of presenters and ambassadors as role models to connect and empower young students. In addition, presentations will be made by young Women in STEM, explaining their journey from high school and the steps they took to reach the inspiring careers and research projects they have today.