When people imagine a scientist, more often than not it sparks an image of a man in a white lab coat, perhaps holding a test tube. The same could be said for a policeman, a fireman, or a doctor. Why is it that we never imagine a woman in these same roles?
Earlier this year, SBS Australia revealed that Science and Technology Australia (STA) - a peak technology body - wants to break through these gender stereotypes, encouraging more women to consider science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees through its Superstars of STEM program. To achieve this, STA has shortlisted 60 Australian female 'superstar' scientists as role models for this program.
Meet Dr Onisha Patel, a structural biologist at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) in Melbourne. Dr Patel studies how proteins function inside the human body and uses that information to design potential new treatments for cancer. Dr Patel was born in Ahmedabad in the western Indian state of Gujarat, and moved to Australia in 1998 in search of better opportunities.
Outside her profession, Dr Patel is equally passionate about using art as a medium to promote science communication and education amongst students.
Please go to this link:
https://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/hindi/en/article/2019/01/02/three-indian-origin-women-scientists-among-australias-60-superstars-stem to find out more about Australia's superstar women in STEM.
The Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, says the launch of the new group of ambassadors will go a long way in promoting gender equity in STEM: “Increasing the public visibility of women role models is key to changing cultural attitudes and inspiring more young women and girls to study, work and champion gender equity in STEM”.
Mount Alvernia itself has created its own strong identity in the area of STEM, through extra-curricular activities such as Robotics Club, the Brain Bee Challenge, science competitions, and STEM as a subject. I believe it is extremely important for girls to participate in any STEM opportunities presented to them, whether it be to fuel a passion, orfor enjoyment, excitement, or curiosity. We all have the potential to be superstar women, which is why next semester I will be introducing the first Phenomenal Females initiative. Each fortnight I will be sharing the story of a 'Superstar in STEM' to encourage exactly what Karen Andrews stated - championing gender equity in STEM.
On the note of student potential, a few weeks ago we celebrated the Academic Excellence and Academic Effort Awards for students across all year levels. I’d like to congratulate these girls again for their hard work and continued dedication to their studies; keep it up! The Year 11s also completed their first intra-semester exam block for the new ATAR system. These girls have done a fantastic job adapting to the new system; the effort, enthusiasm, and team work they have demonstrated is an inspiration for all younger students.
We’re nearing the end of term, and I’m sure we’re all ready for a three-week holiday! However, end-of-semester exams are almost upon us, so keep up the motivation and drive a little while longer in preparation for a well-deserved rest!