Students, IT professionals and arts collided in an exciting Careers with STEM event at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) workshops, a panel of women working in technology careers and a focus on creativity and Indigenous culture created a unique space for students to explore STEM and Information Technology (IT) careers.
Patience Masunga (above right) from Sacred Heart College says the event created an “amazing learning workspace for girls into IT”.
“I found each and everyone’s story inspiring because, in the end, they all pursued their chosen career. It was also inspiring that we were all women because growing up IT has always been a men’s thing and now that women are able to come together like that is simply amazing.”
Students heard from a panel of women working in exciting areas of IT including Google Senior Software Engineer Sara Schaare-Weeks; Assistant Lecturer in Computer Science at Victoria Unversity of Wellington, Kirita-Rose Escott; Te Papa’s Head of Experience Design, Frith Williams, and Learning Innovation Specialist Jesse Robieson.
Students at the Careers with STEM event then broke into small groups for some mentoring sessions looking at creative coding career options and then went on to STEAM workshops combining Māori culture, adornment and identity, modern history and science with activities in Digital Technologies.
“It was an excellent day and the learners that attended were very engaged,” says Te Papa’s Project Director – Raranga Matihiko | Weaving Digital Futures, Tara Fagan. “One of our team reported back that a secondary student reported how they are feeling more confident about the options that they have now.”
The Careers with STEM event was facilitated by Refraction Media and supported by Google, Te Papa and the Victoria University of Wellington.
Google Program Manager Marie Efstathiou says it’s important to quickly act to inspire young women in technology careers.
“The “jobs of the future” are already here, they’re in the Careers with STEM magazine, and we at Google want to ensure that every student has access to the role models that inspire them to engage with computer science and technology,” she says.
Author: Heather Catchpole
Heather co-founded Careers with STEM publisher Refraction Media. She loves storytelling, Asian food & dogs and has reported on science stories from live volcanoes and fossil digs