Girls take the lead in science, technology, engineering and maths

More than 50 Geelong school girls brought to life their understanding of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in a Deakin University led project, Girls as Leaders in STEM (GALS).

The girls, in Years 5 to 8 from nine primary and secondary schools, were challenged to respond to an identified issue or need in their community and their clever, creative solutions were on display at the official launch of the GALS program at Geelong Library on Tuesday, 13 July, attended by Member for Corangamite, Libby Coker.

Working with the Deakin STEM Education team and their teachers, the girls used recycled plastics to make school badges (Bell Park North Primary School), created an app to counter cyberbullying (Sacred Heart College) designed an inclusive playground (Grovedale West Primary School) and created a robotic 'fish' that collects rubbish on the surface of the ocean (Torquay College).

Deakin's Associate Professor Coral Campbell said local industries also contributed time and ideas to the projects and worked with teachers to develop curriculum.

"GALS has helped the girls see the real-life applications of STEM and the varied career paths that flow from STEM skills," Associate Professor Campbell said.

"It has been wonderful to see the way the world has opened up for these girls as they develop important problem-solving skills and see the potential of STEM as a future study option."

Torquay College student, Frida Carter, displays her GALS project.

From left to right: Dr Anne Sarros, Trustee Invergowrie Foundation; Libby Coker, Member for Corangamite; Professor Vanessa Lemm, previously Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University; Vanessa Schernickau, CEO Geelong Library.