Year 9 and 10 students from around the Central West made an excursion to Lithgow on Monday, July 31, to learn exactly what the field of engineering is.
Students from Lithgow, Portland Central, Gulgong, Mudgee and Oberon high schools toured hubs of engineering ingenuity around town including EnergyAustralia’s Mt Piper power station, the Mines Rescue training facility and the Lithgow Valley Springs bottle factory.
The day of excursions and workshops was organised by not-for-profit group Power of Engineering, led by professional female engineers.
Felicity Furey, President and Co-Founder of Power of Engineering, said the Lithgow event aimed to show that engineering is a career within reach of female, Indigenous and regional students.
“During these visits we find that the students are encouraged by the impact engineering offers and by the scale of potential work environments,” she said.
“Once students see how they can make a difference by building and creating the world around them, they absolutely love it.”
Apart from excursions, the students learnt about different fields in engineering through practical activities like learning to count in binary code and creating slime that tells the temperature.
“They’re creating thermochromic slime, which changes colour according to temperature. A lot of places use thermochromic paint to find cold and hot spots, so it’s a way of showing students how chemical engineering is used in reality,” engineer Merryn Goldie said.
According to Power of Engineering, 71 per cent of the students surveyed after the first session in Lithgow last year changed their mind and would consider engineering as a potential career path.
“The experience we had at the last workshop was pretty cool,” said Gulgong student Allannah Pearson.
“I find it interesting that there is such a wide variety of things you can do in engineering.”