The future STEM workforce

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UNSW students and Crookwell High School students at Gullen Range Wind and Solar Farm 

Details

  • Date
    31 July 2018
  • Category
    News

The government has recently highlighted Regional Development Australia Committees as someone who can drive collaboration between education, industry and government. With this in mind, RDA Southern Inland are already working closely with education providers, industry and government to ensure real partnerships are formed between the three groups with the aim to address skills gaps.

Last Friday, RDASI took part in two separate but equally exciting STEM initiatives in the region.

Project Officer, Camilla Staff, volunteered at the Science and Engineering Challenge in Goulburn, which saw seven high schools compete in a range of challenges throughout the day, focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  

Camilla was stationed at the ‘bridge challenge’, where students were tasked with building a bridge to transport gold out of an old mine shaft. The overall aim was to build the lightest bridge that could carry the most weight.

“I was so impressed with all the students throughout this challenge. I only wish we had something like this when I was at school. The students loved the real-life challenge and applied skills and knowledge that civil engineers use on a daily basis.”

Whilst Emmaus Christian College won the bridge challenge (they had the lightest bridge that could carry the most weight), the overall winner of the Southern Tablelands Science and Engineering Challenge was Goulburn High School.

On the same day, CEO of RDA Southern Inland, Mareeca Flannery, visited Gullen Range Wind and Solar Farm to take a look at one of the University of NSW’s solar cars. The solar car, eVe, is the world’s fastest solar electric vehicle over 500km and was shown to students from Crookwell Highschool.  

The Gullen Solar Farm project is a 10 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, co-located within the Gullen Range Wind Farm, a 73-turbine farm. Along with eVe the solar car, the visit to Gullen Range was a fantastic opportunity for Crookwell High students to witness and learn about renewable energy technology.

“It was great to see the students so enthusiastic. They asked lots of fantastic questions of the UNSW engineering students,” Mareeca said.

“It was fantastic that Gullen Range were willing to share their knowledge on solar energy. It was a great example of how industry can work together with students from high school to university.”

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