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Local students’ passion for STEM shines at Hunter awards

HunterWiSE 2019 Winners
Female high school students with a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) gathered on 7 August to recognise and celebrate the winners of the 2019 HunterWiSE High School Outreach Program.
A University of Newcastle initiative, HunterWiSE (Hunter Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship) is comprised of exceptional female academics who work with local high schools to increase the number of girls and women participating in STEM.
Students from nine schools across the region were involved in a 10-week program culminating in a competition to develop a solution to a local community issue. 110 high school students worked with University mentors to develop a range of STEMbased solutions.
Year 8 students Phoebe Wolfgang, Tahlia Fennel and Tyla Barlow from Muswellbrook High School were announced as the winners for their project Furever Pets, a website collating information on pets for adoption in the Muswellbrook area. Employing skills in research and web design, the judges commented that their project was exceptionally well executed.
The program included a visit to the University or an industry site, giving the participants the opportunity to meet women employed in STEM fields and see STEM in action. During the program students not only proposed a solution to their chosen community problem but also developed a video pitch to submit to a panel of judges.
Year 8 and 9 students from Muswellbrook High School, St Mary’s Catholic College, Maitland High School, Hunter River High, Newcastle High School, Callaghan College Waratah Technology Campus, Gorokan High School, Dungog High School and Singleton High School took part.
HunterWiSE acknowledges the support of Muswellbrook Council, Glencore, Hunter Water, Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group, GHD, Roads and Maritime Services, and the University of Newcastle. The HunterWiSE team consists of Prof Regina Berretta, Dr Karen Blackmore, A/Prof Anna Giacomini, Prof Sarah Johnson, Dr Elena Prieto, Prof Juanita Todd, and Prof Erica Wanless.