An outreach program to encourage high school girls to study STEM subjects and the research team that developed a highly effective strategy to reduce the impact of a common eye infection are finalists in the 2019 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.
The University of Western Australia’s Girls in Engineering program is a finalist in the Eureka Prize for STEM inclusion, presented by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science; a new award for 2019.
Girls in Engineering aims to demystify engineering as a field, break stereotypes for girls interested in STEM and increase female enrolments in engineering science.
The program involves a range of schools, including Ballajura Community School, Belmont City College, Governor Stirling SHS, La Salle College, John Wollaston Anglican Community School, Methodist Ladies College, Penrhos College, Perth College, Santa Maria College, St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls, St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School, Shenton College and Willetton SHS.
Regional schools include Broome SHS, Karratha SHS, St Luke’s College in Karratha and Roebourne District High School.
Since 2014, the program has reached more than 9,000 students through more than 60 industry professionals and 80 UWA students, both in the classroom and on the UWA campus. The program is supported by foundation partner Rio Tinto and partners Monadelphous, Empired, and Fluor.
UWA affiliate the Lions Eye Institute has also been named a finalist in the UNSW Eureka Prize for Scientific Research, along with Monash University and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, for their research into cytomegalovirus infection, a frequent and life-threatening complication that significantly limits positive outcomes for bone marrow transplant patients.
Lead researcher Professor Mariapia Degli-Esposti and her team including Dr Chris Andoniou and Peter Fleming have developed a new, non-toxic and highly effective strategy to reduce the impact of this infection by preventing viral reactivation, leading to improved outcomes for transplant patients.
The annual Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are Australia’s leading science awards, recognising excellence in the fields of research and innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science.
There are 50 finalists, including teams, in the 2019 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes. Winners will be announced at a gala award dinner at Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday 28 August 2019.
Simone Hewett (UWA Media & PR Adviser) 08 6488 7975
Francesca Robb (Lions Eye Institute) 0409 102 556