Thanks to RDA Hunter’s ME Program, four Hunter high schools were fortunate enough to have Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen, national leader in STEM education for girls and Founder of the Tech Girls Movement, visit recently. Dr Beekhuyzen visited Tomaree High, St Philips Port Stephens, St Pius X and Lambton High Schools to deliver her newest program, Entrepreneurship in a Day, to students in Year 9.
Approx. 20 students from each of the four high schools were immersed in the two hour program that saw them participate in coding activities and the design and development of apps. Facilitated rather than taught by Dr Beekhuyzen, the program teaches girls important practical skills while also building their enterprise skills by allowing freedom to self-manage both their time and their project outcomes.
“The girls were amazing! They embraced the concept and worked diligently, both in groups and individually, to design apps that would help people – that would solve real problems”, said Dr Beekhuyzen.
“Sometimes identifying the problem that needs solving is the hardest part of the process, but, the girls worked in teams and came up with an interesting range of problems, identified potential solutions and then designed apps that could help the general public better tackle these issues – issues as diverse as catering for celiacs, mental illness and anxiety, study aids, and littering.
“The Tech Girls Movement and our programs introduce girls to the real world applications of their STEM skills, but they also help them build their teamwork, communication and time-management skills which are extremely important in today’s changing workplace.” continued Dr Beekhuyzen.
Rick Evans, RDA Hunter’s STEM Workforce Manager said that the ME Program was delighted to host Dr Beekhuyzen in the Hunter recently, “Our students were very lucky to have the chance to participate in the Tech Girls Movement’s Entrepreneurship in the Day program recently. Dr Beekhuyzen’s. commitment to progressing STEM education and making a difference to the future careers of, particularly, girls is inspiring. We very much look forward to continuing our work with the Tech Girls Movement and Dr Beekhuyzen and hosting her in the Hunter again soon.