Case study from: Advancing Women in STEM
The Australian Mathematics Trust and Australian Science Innovations Curious Minds program has been enabling high potential year 9 and 10 girls to explore all aspects of STEM through a mix of hands on activities, theoretical learning, and mentoring since 2015.
Jayde, an Indigenous woman of Warumungu descent, attended the inaugural Curious Minds program and is now studying physics and mathematics at the University of Queensland. She is the first member of her family to attend university and says ‘it was only once I had finished the Curious Minds program, that I become confident in my ability to pursue STEM at a tertiary level.’
‘Curious Minds gave me the opportunity to explore and really expose myself to all areas of STEM. I was able to challenge myself with female students from across Australia who held the same enthusiasm for STEM that I do. My favourite part of the program was meeting female STEM researchers. After hearing all their amazing stories, I became inspired. By the end of the camp, I was motivated to continue my pursuit of STEM and my future in this field was cemented,’ says Jayde.
Imogen, a 16 year-old from regional Tasmania, participated in the 2017-18 program. Imogen says the program helped both her and others at her school to learn about fantastic STEM opportunities, ‘Before I went to the Curious Minds program, neither I nor my school had heard of the Australian Science Olympiads program, meaning that Curious Minds has helped not only me to stay interested in science, but likely also many students from my school in years to come.’
Curious Minds also expanded Imogen’s understanding of what a STEM career means. ‘Before the program I was definitely interested in a career in a STEM field, but I mostly only knew about jobs in medicine and other well-known careers. The program opened my eyes to the wide range of possible jobs.’
Email STEM [at] industry.gov.au
Claire and Imogen. Image supplied by Expanding Curious Minds