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Mythbuster helps school students see a future in engineering and IT

  • 05 September, 2007 07:34

<p>Ann Wright thinks some school students worry about being tied down to a particular direction, but if they choose to study engineering or information technology at university, in reality they're opening the door to endless possibilities.</p>
<p>That was the IBM manager's message last week at Chatswood High School when she spoke to students from years 10 to 12 as part of the Sydney Women in Engineering and Information Technology (SWIEIT) Speakers Program.</p>
<p>The program, run by the Women in Engineering Program at the University of Technology, Sydney and funded jointly by IBM, Cisco and UTS, is aimed at dispelling myths about IT and engineering for young women in the process of deciding about subjects and courses and their future.</p>
<p>Ms Wright said these days study in IT and engineering could lead to anything from art and design and the film and entertainment industries to management, business operations, robotics, health care or environmental protection.</p>
<p>For her own part, American-born Ms Wright started out as a journalist, moved into web development and now she is the Sales Operations Manager for ibm.com, with IBM Australia and New Zealand.</p>
<p>"Technology is merging fields that once we wouldn't have thought of as being connected, and IT professionals and engineers are the enablers of that change," she said.</p>
<p>"For young women it means they should ignore any old stereotypes about engineers and IT geeks and take stock of the real possibilities and opportunities."</p>
<p>In the six years of the program, SWIEIT speakers – both working professionals and current university students in engineering and IT – have visited more than 50 schools in the Sydney region and met with more than 6000 students.</p>
<p>The program has won the support of many schools, students and the industry speakers themselves.</p>
<p>One school student commented after a SWIEIT visit, "I learnt from their vivid recollection one very important thing: that our subjects now will not determine our future careers and what we think we would like to do in the future will most likely change during the course of high school and beyond."</p>
<p>During September SWIEIT speakers will be visiting Pendle Hill High School, Santa Sabina at Strathfield and MLC Burwood.</p>
<p>Ends…</p>
<p>Further Information:
Ann Wright, ibm.com, Ph (02) 9407 5663</p>
<p>Bronwyn Holland, Program Director, Women in Engineering Program,
UTS Faculty of Engineering, (02) 9514 2601</p>
<p>Issued by: Terry Clinton, UTS Media Office,
Ph (02) 9514 1623 or 0419 293 261</p>

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