More than 200 Year 11 students from 19 schools across Perth and the Peel area recently attended camps at The University of Western Australia to get a taste of university life and learn about the opportunities available to them through a tertiary education.
The program run by Aspire UWA aims to raise aspirations of high school students to go on to tertiary education.
The students learnt study skills and participated in workshops where they examined insects in soil to learn about soil science, analysed the magnetic liquid ferrofluid in a chemistry experiment, explored the finance world of foreign exchange and sutured bananas with UWA medical students.
The activities, facilitated by UWA staff and students, showcased the variety of disciplines and areas available to study at university.
Aspire UWA, Manager Student Equity Elisa McGowan said the camps gave students the opportunity to gain insight into different courses available and learn more about where a University degree could take them.
“Many students aren’t sure of what they want to study, which is normal,” she said. “A university education offers students many career options and through this program we hope to engage school students at a critical stage when they are considering their career path and making important decisions.”
Students spoke to a variety of industry representatives who shared their professional experience and provided advice to the Year 11 students.
Richard Low, a Chemical Engineer with Alcoa of Australia, was impressed by the students and their insightful questions about his career journey during the speed networking session.
“The students were so engaged in the networking, and so interested in the different experiences of the panel members and how they could relate those experiences to their own ambitions,” he said.
“Alcoa operates mines and refineries in the Peel region, so the workshops are a great opportunity to highlight some of the career options available to students in their local area.”
Aspire UWA is celebrating 10 years of raising aspirations and supporting students to succeed at university throughout 2019. Starting with 24 partner schools in Perth and the Pilbara, Aspire UWA now engages with over 15,000 students each year from 73 partner schools. The program expanded to the Peel region in 2016 with the support of the Alcoa Foundation.