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This National Science Week, the University of Technology Sydney, Engineers Without Borders Australia and Tech Girls Movement Foundation invite students to ‘create for your community’ in a two-day design challenge.

On Thursday 20 & Friday 21 August 2020, classes from can join our virtual classroom to design, create and build solutions to problems in their own community, using technology, engineering, science and maths. This could be designing an application for a local business, prototyping a robot for agriculture, or designing infrastructure for better transport.

While this challenge is open to all students, we have designed the event to actively target regional girls’ participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

In Australia, and particularly in remote and rural areas, girls have low STEM participation rates and low STEM aspirations in school, compared with boys. This means that, as adults, women are less likely to work in STEM or study STEM after school. Addressing the traditional stereotypes about ‘male’ and ‘female’ careers and presenting female role models, and enabling activities that address the lower self-confidence and strong feelings of anxiety toward maths and science that some girls feel – despite having the same ability and achievement as boys – is known to encourage greater interest in these fields.

The STEM Design Challenge aims to address these challenges – registrations for school to participate are now open! Find out more, and how to register, here.

National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. Running each year in August, it features more than 1000 events around Australia, including those delivered by universities, schools, research institutions, libraries, museums and science centres.

UPDATE: Read about the ideas generated at the Design Challenge here!