Last Wednesday our Year 5 girls received a special 2 hour robotics workshop from Robogals, a student run organisation that aims to engage schoolgirls in engineering topics from a young age. Research shows that in Years 5 and 6, girls’ perception of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and STEM based learning begins to change. They may start to lose confidence, believing that STEM is something only boys do well – and not an area in which girls excel. This perception continues throughout school and into career choices after graduation. Even more alarming, are the many myths and misconceptions in society about what girls do, and don’t do well. This is reinforced by the under-representation of girls in STEM related jobs. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In order to meet the needs of a dynamic workforce centred on innovation and creativity, girls represent a unique perspective and untapped talent. We need all young people to be learning STEM skills and qualifications to ensure Australia’s competitiveness on the world stage. It is important that schools empower girls from a young age, challenging these myths and misconceptions, and showing them that STEM can help them change the world.

Many thanks to the Robogal volunteers who delivered an engaging and hands on learning STEM experience that will no doubt increase the student engagement in robotics and engineering at Coolbinia yet further into 2019.