Scholarship recipient Selena Wang’s passion for science and engineering has seen her explore and participate in a multitude of exciting projects. As part of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, on February 11 we are celebrating the achievements of this dedicated scholarship recipient.
According to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres:
"On this International Day, I urge commitment to end bias, greater investments in science, technology, engineering and math education for all women and girls as well as opportunities for their careers and longer-term professional advancement so that all can benefit from their ground-breaking future contributions."
Selena, is not only working towards completing her Bachelor of Science and Melbourne University but she is also inspiring up-and-coming science students with active mentoring.
Science and technology has long been a thread in Selena’s life. After attending the Grand Prix on a high school excursion, she found herself drawn to the exhilarating domain of Formula 1 racing. Selena has exciting plans to follow her passion for innovation in the field of mechanical engineering.
“I followed the races and read books about the cars and the history, it was fascinating how the technology [developed] over the years. I wanted to be part of a team that is always developing new ideas and staying competitive.”
Choosing Melbourne University enabled Selena to pursue an engineering pathway, beginning with a Bachelor of Science Degree which she hopes will lead to a Masters of Engineering.
In learning about the field of engineering in particular, Selena credits the Spark Engineering Camp – an opportunity she gained through the Western Chances Links Program - which providing her with a window into the world of engineering prior to university.
“Attending Spark Camp in year 12 was an eye-opening experience. I had the opportunity to meet many like-minded people and learn more about the different areas of engineering.”
Spark Engineering Camps are a valuable opportunity for young people to explore their interests and discover whether university study in engineering is for them. The hands-on activities enable students to gain a better understanding of what university studies involve.
Now working at the camps as an Operations Manager and mentor, Selena has immersed herself in the world of engineering and inspires future generations to follow.
“Spark has become a part of my life and I would like to continue working with it to make positive impacts on young people.”
Building a diverse range of talents, Selena explored the world of robotics and led the programming and electronics elements of the winning robotics team at Melbourne University, taking her project to the national competition.
“Robotics is becoming a huge part of our lives, it is a fascinating area of engineering that is increasingly expanding. Out of 43 teams and we were asked to represent the uni at the national competition. We came 11th overall in the competition. Considering the time and budget constraints, we were satisfied with the outcome.”
Selena would love to see more girls follow her path in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and sees benefit in greater participation in STEM-related activities at school and in the community.
“There should be more programs that focus on encouraging girls to pursue a career in the STEM field, Robogals is a good example, they introduce students to robotics and programming and aim to increase female participation in science and technology.”
As for future opportunities, Selena recommends getting out there and trying everything - finding a mentor if you can.
“My advice would be to seize every opportunity there is, try to attend science-related extracurricular activities such as camps, workshops, talks etc. If you are interested in science, maybe it would be helpful to identify a few areas of science to focus on, read up on them and chat to your teachers about them to expand your knowledge.
“It is also beneficial to have a mentor to guide you along your journey. Do not be afraid to speak to people, try to get some insights from someone who works in the field that you are interested in. I believe that if you endeavour to do your best, keep at it, anything is possible.”
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