We’ve been working with Michelle Dickinson, otherwise known as Nanogirl, on revamping the programme to create an exciting digital learning experience that inspires students from a broader range of schools and demographics to continue with STEM subjects.
As a result, we’re looking at how we deliver the current programme and are making some changes to the current website. We’ll no longer be updating or developing the existing Futureintech website in 2018 – instead we’ll be working on a new digital platform to support our new programme.
Sadly, this means our writers Megan Rodden and Madeleine Rashbrooke and web developer Beau Broadhead will be leaving the Futureintech team. Megan and Madeleine will finish up on the 21st of December. Beau will be staying on in the short term. Engineering New Zealand would like to thank the three of them for the enormous contribution that they have made to the Futureintech programme during their time with us.
We’ll be sending you some more information about the new programme early next year. In the meantime, feel free to get in touch with us with any thoughts or suggestions.
Contact Brett Williams, General Manager - Professional Standards, email@example.com
This is the last issue of e-news this year, so we’re sending it to both our school and industry subscribers. Collectively, your support of the Futureintech programme has been critical in helping us to provide young New Zealanders with better awareness of STEM careers.
Together we’ve achieved some great things this year, including:
While we’re very pleased with what we’ve achieved, it has been another challenging year with the ongoing redevelopment of the programme in conjunction with Nanogirl Labs Ltd and many staff changes:
Wishing you all the best for the rest of the year!
The Futureintech team
Thanks to all of you who have worked with us to share your stories. We know it’s not always easy to come up with a text that balances accuracy with being easy for young people to understand, and is engaging while maintaining your professional image.
We’d also like to acknowledge all the Ambassadors whose stories we haven’t (yet) told. We’ll be writing more profiles in the coming months, and continuing to prioritise stories about less well-known qualification pathways and job roles, and under-represented regions, genders and ethnicities.
Last year we supported the Hello Café pilot, which was developed by Massey University School of Engineering's Professor Jane Goodyer with a grant from the Government's Unlocking Curious Minds fund.
The workshop series teaches problem-solving and teamwork skills while looking at humanitarian and sustainable development issues. This context is attractive to young people who want to make the world a better place, and also counters the perception of engineering as being a bit of a ‘boy thing’.
Hello Café workshops are free and targeted at girls aged 10-14 from lower socio-economic backgrounds, where they are less likely to have had prior exposure to engineering as a career option. Futureintech Ambassadors who are female engineers and/or scientists lead each session and act as role models. They introduce themselves and talk about their jobs, deliver the supplied Hello Café presentation, and help with the activity.
We’re running a six session version of the programme this year, with six workshops covering:
The first workshops took place this week, with both Ambassadors and girls thoroughly enjoying making mud bricks. At Northcross Intermediate School, the teacher commented that the girls were totally engaged all the way through the workshop – very impressive considering that they had already had a full day of school!
We're looking forward to running the workshop series in more schools in 2018, so if you’re a female engineer and interested in helping with Hello Café (or other similar programmes) please contact your Facilitator.
Photo caption: Ambassadors Maria Eliza from Watercare with students at McAuley High School (left) and Aileen McKinstry from Markplan Consulting at Northcross Intermediate School (right).
The Adopt-a-Scientist initiative at Lincoln High School, now in its fifth year, is an enrichment programme for Year 9 students. They work on a project that interests them, usually with a community or conservation focus, and are paired with a local researcher with relevant expertise.
Comments from students include “it allowed us to encounter new and beneficial learning experiences”, “we could begin to relate our scientific ideas to everyday life” and “it’s given us the opportunity to learn how lab skills can be applied in real life”.
“The effect on students has been inspiring,” says science teacher Dr Rose Travis. “It has raised both community engagement and classroom focus.” She notes that the mentors’ guidance is more effective than school-based teaching and laboratory work alone.
“Having the opportunity to work alongside professionals who are able to explain their personal journey into different science professions is eye opening for many Year 9 students. It has opened up many pathways they were unaware of.”
Bird counts, leaf litter, a container home and seashore communities
The 'adopted' scientists encourage and support their students over a five-month period. This longer term interaction introduces students to the collaboration that is essential in the research world. As well as working with the students at school, the scientists accompany them on field trips as they carry out their investigations.
Many of the scientists involved are also Futureintech Ambassadors. Sarah Jackman, a science technician from AgResearch, returned this year for her third year as a mentor. She worked with students investigating bird numbers at a recently established local park. The students surveyed the birds and compared numbers with a count done the previous year. Using this information will allow them to work out if the park has made a difference for birds.
Rebecca Dollery, an environmental scientist from Lincoln University, mentored students who were researching wildlife in a local reserve. She helped them read animal tracks, enter data into a spreadsheet and analyse leaf litter samples as they monitored invertebrates and their predators.
Structural engineer Aaron Kaijser from Structex worked with two students designing a container home to fit two people. Marine ecologist Chris Woods, from NIWA was adopted by two groups, who investigated the differences between rocky shore and sandy shore communities.
The Ambassadors have been invited to an event in November where the students will present their projects.