Partnership inspires STEM careers

Monday, 06 February, 2023

Partnership inspires STEM careers

Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB Australia) and Bentley Systems have announced a three-year partnership.

A key part of the agreement is the EWB Innovation Challenge. This annual STEM outreach event brings together high-school students and emerging engineers, helping them to explore and showcase the opportunities possible in STEM careers.

Through the Innovation Challenge, Year 9 and 10 students can learn and collaborate during a series of design challenges. Program participants leave with a broader perspective of engineering career paths and the humanitarian nature of the profession.

Participants are drawn from schools across the state with a focus on cohorts that are under-represented in the engineering sector, schools in regional and lower socio-economic areas, girls and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

In teams, students engage with a multifaceted engineering challenge, which tests their ingenuity and provides a platform for exploring the social, economic and environmental dimensions of engineering. Throughout the program students are given guidance and support from EWB-affiliated university engineering students, who act as socio-technical design mentors.

The outreach initiative was started in Victoria by the EWB Australia University of Melbourne Chapter.

“We know how much of an impact this type of engagement can have on students, especially those who will soon be making decisions about their future vocation,” said Eleanor Loudon, EWB Australia CEO.

“Ongoing commitments are crucial to unlocking these opportunities for young people and scaling the program’s impact. We’re grateful to have Bentley Systems’ continued support, which will enable the Innovation Challenge to continue to inspire future engineers who work towards creating a sustainable, equitable world.”

“Our partnership with EWB Australia plays a very significant role, as together we empower students to create systematic change in society and give everyone access to engineering knowledge. Initiatives like the Innovation Challenge Spark curiosity in young minds and encourage them to explore STEM subjects. It is very important to tackle misconceptions of engineering and help them understand what real engineering is and what conscious engineers can do,” said Katriona Lord-Levins, Chief Success Officer, Bentley Systems.

The new partnership will see the initiative reach more young people in the coming years, with the Innovation Challenge expanding into other Australian states in 2023 and 2024.

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