Women on Mars

On Friday 25 August, as part of Science Week, seven Year 10 students and Mr Trimble attended the UNSW 'Women on Mars' Day at the Sydney Opera House, an event to showcase possible STEM career opportunities for women. This day was a great opportunity to see how much women have achieved in the world of Science and Engineering, inspiring all who attended to consider careers in STEM, whether it be in Mathematics, pure Science, or Engineering.

The day began with a live-streamed panel of young female scientists. The panel participants included an ecologist, a geologist, an astrophysicist and an engineering entrepreneur who started a business to encourage the nationwide development of computer coding for Australian school students. These remarkable women had achieved so much; one had discovered what could possibly be the earliest sign of life on Earth whilst studying fossilised stromatolites in Western Australia. 

After this, we rotated around different university course setups where we were given insights into many different areas of research such as chemical monitoring of disease, robotics and defects in vision. We participated in hands-on activities such as virtual reality in fear therapy, disease transmission modeling and a Pokemon data hunt race! An especially memorable activity included Christina Shi being placed in a chair and spun around at a high speed to show how our vestibular system responds to keep us upright when the direction of fluid flow in our inner ear is continuously changing.

After lunch, we listened to another panel of engineers who described the landing of the Mars Rovers. The scientists on the panel are part of a team responsible for the management and operation of the current Mars 2020 Project. This was fascinating as we learned about the Physics and Maths behind landing the Rovers, the engineering involved in the making of the Rovers and the thinking behind the choice of landing site and landing strategy.

It was an extremely inspiring experience to be in front of scientists who are looking not only at our world but also to outer space. This took our Science to a different level. It was very exciting to see and apply Science and Maths to real life scenarios. A big thank you to Mr Trimble and the Science Department for offering such inspiring STEM opportunities. 

Christina Shi and Tay Leung (Year 10)

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