A group of inspiring women who work in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) came together at Rutherford Technology High School last week to mentor the next generation.
Women representing engineering, civil construction, health, electronics, manufacturing, maritime, aerospace and academia fields taught students about their experiences and took part in a speed mentoring session.
Led by teacher Jade Bassett, who established the RTHS Women in STEM Program, the program highlighted robotics, business modelling and enterprise skills. It was held on Thursday, December 7.
Ms Bassett, who is a former Maitland Grossmann High School student, said she is passionate about fostering curiosity in her students.
"As an educator in STEM, my passion lies in cultivating a sense of curiosity and innovation in young minds," she said.
"Witnessing the remarkable success of the RTHS Women in STEM Program, where students excel in honing entrepreneurial skills, professional communication, and innovative problem solving, is truly gratifying.
"Our program is the catalyst for transforming aspiration into reality, empowering students not only to dream big but also to turn those dreams into action."
Ms Bassett said advocating for women in STEM will lead to a better future.
"By actively championing gender equality in STEM industry career pathways, we are shaping a future where every aspiring mind, irrespective of gender, discovers equal opportunities to contribute significantly to the dynamic and diverse landscape of science and technology," she said.
This event was supported by the NSW Department of Education's STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) program, the Hunter Academy of STEM Excellence, and The Orbispace Initiative.
NSW Department of Education SISP program leader professor Scott Sleap was a teacher at Maitland Grossmann High School when Ms Bassett was a student there.
"Jade's journey from a student to an inspiring leader in STEM education is testimony to the impact and importance of dedicated STEM teachers," he said.
"Her innovative approach to mentoring and educating young women in STEM fields not only empowers the next generation but also highlights the critical role of teachers in shaping the future of STEM."
Women from the following companies volunteered their time at the mentoring event:
- Alkane Resources Ltd
- AMP Control
- BlueZone Group
- Hunter Water
- Lockhead Martin
- MGA Thermal
- Port of Newcastle
- Quarry Mining
- SDA Structures
- University of Newcastle