Show Me The Way Blog

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

STEM winners will engineer bright futures

Story courtesy the Koori Mail


After winning the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Student Award at the inaugural Indigenous STEM Awards, Greta Stephensen and Sharni Cox attended the International Science and Engineering Fair in the US city of Los Angeles.

The two students are among the group of award-winners who have been recognised for their efforts to introduce STEM education programs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and start careers in the STEM industries.

Ms Cox, now studying a Bachelor of Business and Science at the University of Tasmania, said the LA fair, which she attended as part of her award, was more than she could have expected.

“It was way bigger than I thought it would be,” she said.

“We went as student observers so we got to look around and talk to all the students who had brought the projects they’d been working on to the fair.

“There were 14-year-olds there who were already doing amazing things. It was just incredible.”

Ms Cox said it was “strange but amazing” to think that the young people at that fair were the future innovators in the STEM industry.

“Those kids could be my future employer,” she said.

“That’s crazy. I don’t think I realised how big science was until I went to the science fair. It’s really put everything into perspective for me and cemented what I want to do.”

And what Ms Cox wants to do is science communications – presenting science-related information to make it accessible to the public.

She said Indigenous people have been using science for thousands of years, so it makes sense for a large number of Aboriginal students to be interested in STEM.

“We’ve been implementing a lot of science in our thousands of years of existence,” she said.
“We know that knowledge has been passed through our communities. Now we’re learning how modern science works with our traditional science.”

Sharni Cox, CSIRO’s Carol Rance and Greta Stephenson.

The Koori Mail is a media partner of Show Me The Way.

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