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Too Cool for School

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There’s a digital revolution going on.  By the time students enrol and complete an engineering degree course, up to 40% of current roles will be impacted in one way or another by automation.  Plus, many jobs students are currently studying for, have not even been invented yet!  It’s not surprising there is a shortage of young engineers, not to mention the shortage of young woman in engineering.
 
What inspired you into a career of building services engineering?  Were you lucky enough to have an inspirational teacher at high school?  Maybe you had a great mentor or career advisor at university?  Perhaps you have always been destined to be an engineer from a very young age, inspired by countless hours building Lego towers or had an interest in the advancements of engineering and technology.  The number of students, in particular young girls dropping out of maths or core engineering subjects at school is increasing dramatically.  Not only is this worrying, due to the current engineering shortage, but also restricts the possibilities for making the minimum entrant requirements for engineering degrees.
 
Getting students excited about specialised subjects at school can sometimes be a tough slog. Most of us can recall going to class and wondering why we have to make a battery out of lemons or dissecting a frog.  But helping students understand their relevance and how you apply science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in your career role can build interest, confidence, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

As a CIBSE member, we can assist in encouraging and connecting building services engineering consultants to engage with schools, teachers and students, who are exposed to and can demonstrate the relevance of STEM in everyday life.  STEM Professionals in Schools increases teachers’ confidence and encourages students to consider STEM, as a future career path, which will be essential to meet Australia’s future economic growth and productivity.

In the coming months, you will be hearing much more on the collaboration between CIBSE ANZ and CSIRO at your local chapter events.  We’ll also be running good news stories, providing case studies demonstrating current partnerships between engineering consultants and school teachers who are inspiring young students and encourage you to get involved.  If you want to find out more, contact your local Chapter Chair or contact the Regional Chair.

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