Bright sparks get taste of engineering with JCU
Some of Australia’s brightest minds have graduated from a week-long JCU program designed to inspire the next generation of engineering whiz kids.
Held at JCU’s Bebegu Yumba campus in Townsville, the inaugural Engineering Futures - Residential Camp gave 80 high school students, including 42 young women, from more than 50 schools across four different states and territories an experience of what tertiary education in science, engineering and technology-related fields is like – following a rigorous selection process.
JCU Centre for Education and Enhancement Careers and Wellbeing Manager Kate Sheppard said the camp gave students the opportunity to let their minds flourish in an innovative and supportive environment.
“The camp is designed around giving students a really immersive experience so they can understand what it feels like to be a university student, build their confidence, and sharpen their career confidence,” she said.
“JCU continues to invest in the next generation of scholars, and engineering has been identified as a study area to grow opportunities for young people, both in our region and beyond.”
The Year 10 to 12 students, who come from the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, completed courses on mechanical design, physics and civil engineering, materials and chemical engineering, and career development before they presented their final project this afternoon.
The project involved student teams designing and building a model car that was put through a series of challenges to test its resilience against crash impacts at different speeds.
“The students have enjoyed working hard across the week to grapple with those really critical engineering concepts and then demonstrate their mastery of those with this project at the end,” Ms Sheppard said.
Year 11 Forest Lake State High student Arya Patel said he had thrived in the university environment during the camp.
“I’ve appreciated the mentors and lecturers and their dynamic teaching styles. Living on campus has been amazing and I’ve made some great friends,” he said.
“I love having more freedom than school, and I hope to study mechatronics engineering, or a similar pathway like electrical engineering, at JCU. “
All Hallows’ School Year 11 student Ayzlin Wood said the camp had opened her eyes to “all of the opportunities available to me”.
“Exploring the facilities has been really cool. It’s been amazing to work with people who are like you and are striving for similar things,” she said.
“Everyone’s striving for something, whether that is to be a better mathematician or a scientist or just to reach a dream.”
JCU Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education Professor Maree Dinan-Thompson said the camp helped young people “crystalise their future career options”.
“It brings together like-minded students to expand their knowledge and equip them to be able to navigate the complexities around school, tertiary study and future work,” she said.
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