Students get a sniff of engineering pathways

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Priority One Instep collaborated with Beca Tauranga who once again hosted an inspiring day of information and activities to showcase the vast range of engineering disciplines – and related fields such as project management and architecture – to 75 of our local secondary school students.

Utilising recently graduated professionals from their Tauranga office, the Beca team introduced the students to the diverse array of pathways available, answered plenty of questions, facilitated a team-based challenge, and led a tour of the Chapel Street Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The students were given insight into the challenge and complexity of working within one of the city’s key infrastructure sites at a time of rapid population growth. There wasn’t an overwhelming response indicating wastewater would be in the future career plans of the students – perhaps because they were holding their noses at the time – but there was general acknowledgment that it uncovered an area they had little understanding or appreciation for prior to the day.

Georgia Downey, Civil Engineer and one of the day’s facilitators, has been at Beca for 6 months, having graduated from the University of Waikato. The ex-Bethlehem College student recalled that attending the Beca Careers Day when she was at school was the start of her considering engineering as a viable option: “Before the day I didn’t even know what engineering was… it broadened my idea of it. It went from nothing to something [in terms of] being a career to consider.” Georgia was keen to encourage other young women into the field as well. “[Engineers] do not need to be a boy and good at math. Being a female has never been a barrier for me and I would encourage anyone to just give it a go.”

Molly McGee, Year 12 at Tauranga Girls’ College, felt the day had been, “really good; it showed so many engineering paths that I never knew about before.” She felt events like this are important for students because, “it’s a really good opportunity to come along and find out about different career paths and university courses” and that she was now reconsidering her study options after school as result.

Huge thanks to the Beca team for another awesome day for our Instep secondary students!