Mazzarello Campus News

Girls in Engineering
On the 18th of August Ms Murphy and a group of Year 9 science interested girls travelled into the city to part in the Telstra / Engineering Australia ‘Power of Engineering’ workshop day. The day was planned for students to take part in, hands-on workshops, short talks and Telstra Industry Experience workshops. Students had the opportunity to meet and talk to passionate young engineering students from Deakin University and professionals from a range of engineering companies.

Edith Spiers one of the participants wrote the following report of the day:

Two weeks ago, myself and 11 of my peers were lucky enough to attend an all-girl engineering day, which was a collaboration between Engineering Australia, Telstra and Deakin University. The program was aimed at promoting a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to female Year 9 and 10 students, as a disparity between the number of male and female graduates in these areas has been observed for some time.

The day begun at the Telstra headquarters in the city, with the emphasis here being on innovative technologies and engineering that are leading to exciting new possibilities in the areas of health, communication and daily living. We received a talk from inspiring female engineers, who detailed their experiences in this industry as young people, and as women. We were then shown a number of new technologies that were being pioneered by engineers. They included new forms of touch-responsive glass, facial recognition in advertising, electricity controls and monitors in the home, 3D imaging and other futuristic devices. We also had a chance at learning Morse code, and learning about the logistics of the internet.

The highlights were the new technologies being pioneered in the healthcare industry – vital sign monitoring clothes, robot surgeons and rapid communication techniques – and, of course, the virtual reality. For 5 minutes we each tried on the virtual reality goggles and entered a digitally rendered Japanese temple, where we sliced flying fruit with a samurai sword, although perhaps the most entertainment was to be gained from watching others react to the invisible fruit.

In the afternoon, we moved to the Deakin University building, ascended to the 31st floor (the views were fantastic!) and applied engineering skills. We each received a brief to design a ‘floating’ house for a community in Cambodia along the Mekong. We had a fixed budget, and limited materials (paper cups, drinking straws, balloons, wooden skewers and masking tape). It was a very entertaining activity when it came to testing all the designs in a tub of water. I’m sorry to admit that my flimsy prototype resulted in the drowning of a family of marbles. We also make structures out of marshmallows and wooden skewers, and tried our hand at building a reliable electricity network.

In all, we had a very enjoyable and informative day, and can now really appreciate the role that engineering has in everyday life. We were also excited about a possible career in STEM, and many of us plan to study these subjects going ahead.

Big thanks to Engineering Australia, Telstra and Deakin University for running the activities, Mr Fogarty for organising Salesian College to attend and Ms Murphy for supervising us for the day.

Global Perspectives Projects
This week saw the conclusion of the project with a showcase of events. Each project group was able to highlight their learnings and demonstrate the action they intend or have undertaken. The Campus was privileged to welcome two guest speakers at Monday’s Campus assembly as Project actions. Callum Kelly presented Liz Turner from Hume City Council’s Sustainable Environment Department. Calum wrote:

On Monday the 5th of September, Liz Turner form the Sustainable Environment Department of Hume City Council came out to our school to discuss Local Sustainability Project that the Hume area is undertaking. This included Live Green workshops that have to do with planting fauna around the Goonawarra Community Gardens. As well as this she discussed where the Hume City Council area extends to, including Craigieburn and Broadmeadows. Liz also discussed the “Enviro-Champions” program that is a nine week workshop featuring applications of agriculture and making Hume a better place to live. This is a high level program featuring high-level studies that can advance your knowledge. After the presentation Liz left behind pamphlets that students could pick up to gain better understanding of all the sustainable programs on offer.

Kate McIntosh and Lucy Dilllon presented Chris Culliver from Delta Society to discuss and highlight the use of therapy dogs in a wide range of situations. Kate wrote:

On the 5th of September, Lucy and I organised for Chris Culliver, from Delta Society, come in with her therapy dog called Rosy, as a part of our globalization project. We started the day off with the year 9 assembly. As we brought Rosy into the room, we saw everyone's face light up. As Chris started talking, we let Rosy off her leash 10 wonder around and meet some other students. Chris talked to us about the company she works for Delta Society. They take 'therapy dogs' to nursing homes, prisons and schools etc, so people  can have a bit of fun with the dogs and to  make them happy. This causes the patients to release good hormones into their bodies, which has been scientifically proven to relieve stress and anxiety. After Chris' talk, we brought Rosy around to all the Year 9 classrooms, where the students got to meet and play with her. Her visit made everyone feel that bit happier, and had a good rest of the day. Hopefully we can have more visits and support the Delta Society.

Brendon Fogarty
Mazzarello Campus Director