News Centre

Who wants to be an engineer?


This week has had a Careers focus on preparing our students, particularly the seniors, for study in engineering. To start off, Tuesday saw representatives from engineering firm Arup come to speak to students from Years 9 to 13 to explain what engineering is about. The session flew by, making the two hours in our school library pass quickly.

After the Arup members finished their presentation about engineering and told us about their jobs, they got the students involved with a challenge to build the tallest tower (with a certain amount of budget on the materials) that could hold a hard hat for more than 5 seconds. The students were split up into different teams and then started the activity. The team which ended up dominating the challenge was ‘THE BOIS’, consisting of four Year 13 students – Emma Sim-Smith, David Patlong, Phoebe Kong and Angelito Castro. The tower they built was 1.37 metres tall and could very easily hold the hard hat. They had the teamwork, communication and ingenuity to pull it off while the other teams struggled in their endeavour. However, in terms of score, the Year 13s tied for first place with a Year 9 team, meaning they shared the prize of cookies and lollies – a sweet reward to be sure.

After the judging had concluded, the Arup representatives opened the floor up to the students for any questions. It was where students got to learn more about the university study required and work side of engineering. Our students were excited that engineering is the best of both worlds, where there’s the working off and on site. They also discovered the many travel opportunities available to engineers, as well as the rewarding feeling when seeing projects they had designed being built; a real sense of ownership. Engineers have the chance to design and create to make life easier for people. An important point that was made during this Q&A session is that you don’t have to be the best, as the most important skill is being able to communicate and work with people. Engineering is an environment where you constantly have to communicate with clients, contractors and co-workers, making social skills a priority.

Overall, this engineering experience was very informative and convinced many Year 13s to take the path of engineering at university. One such student said it “has really motivated me to take engineering up after high school. One factor that really appealed to me was the travelling because I want to have a job that I enjoy.”

A huge thanks must go to the Careers Department without whose support this day wouldn’t have been possible.

David Patlong and Danica Loulie-Wijtenburg