Regional Girls Innovation Challenge
‘If you can’t see it, you can’t be it’
The Regional Girls Innovation Challenge is a collaboration between WiSPP, STEM Sisters, and BrainSTEM in response to the limited number of female role models in STEM across regional Victoria. The program provides an opportunity for high school students to explore the journey of scientific discovery alongside a WiSPP institute mentor in a research environment. The goal is to transform the future of innovation and science by inspiring young women to become the next generation of scientists.
Thirteen teams from eight Gippsland high schools are participating in this year's challenge. Each team consists of four or five students who will work together on a scientific and innovative project.
Our mentors are postdocs and PhD students from various institutes. The program offers a fantastic opportunity for professional development, science communication and mentoring experience.
"Young minds come up with different ideas. They actually solved a problem in my research. It was really rewarding to see how energized they were about science at the end of the program"
-Former Participant in Innovation Challenge
Teams and mentors are paired up for the duration of the 12 week challenge. The students get a chance to explore Parkville Precinct at the kickstarter and midway points. Mentors have weekly catch-up sessions with their teams to help guide their progress. Final presentations are held in June to recognize the students' achievements.
Project Themes for 2018
The students were encouraged to pick ideas from their local community as potential projects they would like to work on with their mentors who are also aligned with proposed themes of Latrobe Health Assembly:
- Pride of Place · Build confidence, esteem and celebration in the community · Increase community connectedness and engage the disengaged · Help improve the quality of the natural and built environments · Enhance Latrobe Valley community reputation · Build community support and improve community safety · Increasing employment / Education opportunities
- Make the Move · Promote participation and incidental activity for high risk groups · Improve opportunities and environments for physical activity · Increase knowledge of importance of physical activity · Promote healthy eating · Improve opportunities and environments for healthy eating
- Children, Family & Young People · Promote good health to get the best possible start in life · Improve early learning outcomes · Support families in need and the welfare of children and youth · Raise awareness and support for mental health conditions
- Chronic Illness & Wellness · Improve the continuity of care for people with chronic conditions · Prevent chronic illness developing and further problems occurring · Support those with and developing mental health conditions · Help people with chronic conditions to live life to the full