Forty-two Year 10 and 11 Indigenous students from across the State are spending their school holidays at The University of Western Australia for the annual Indigenous Science, Engineering and Health Camp.
The camp hosted by the UWA School of Indigenous Studies coincides with NAIDOC week (8-15 July) and aims to show students the future career paths available to them and break down some of the barriers preventing Indigenous students from considering a tertiary education after high school.
Students have travelled from towns across WA including Albany, Broome, Carnarvon, Coolgardie, Denmark, Derby, Exmouth, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Kununurra, Mandurah and Pinjarra. Some students from the Perth metropolitan area will also take part.
They will participate in range of exciting activities designed to take them outside their comfort zone and make them think about what type of career interests them. Activities include building a strong bridge, making moulds of teeth, flying drones and experimenting with liquid nitrogen.
Brendon DeGois, from UWA’s School of Indigenous Studies, said the camp continued to be a huge success because it helped school students understand that university was a real possibility and made them aware of the support services available at UWA.
“Many of these students are finding out about some of these areas of science for the first time and it is also the first time many have visited the UWA campus,” Mr DeGois said.
“The students are usually reserved when they first arrive but by the end of the week they have made lots of friends and hopefully their transition from high school to university is an easy one.”
Many students who have enjoyed the secondary science camps have gone on to graduate from UWA and embark on careers in science, engineering and health. While at UWA, the students will explore the campus and visit residential colleges where they might stay during their studies such as University Hall and St Thomas More.
Indigenous medical, dental, science and engineering students currently studying at UWA will act as mentors to the Year 10 and 11 students during the camp.
The camp is sponsored by Aspire UWA, an outreach program that encourages students from low socio-economic, Indigenous and regional backgrounds to access the lifelong benefits of higher education and is supported by Rio Tinto.
Jess Reid (UWA Media and PR Advisor) 08 6488 6876
Brendon DeGois (UWA School of Indigenous Studies) 08 6488 3847 / 0414 371 179