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As our students sit in one of our science rooms learning about physics, or conduct an experiment in a chemistry class, many do not take a moment to consider how these studies are forming the foundations of their future career pathways. As a young person growing up in today’s generation, the career opportunities are endless and with the development of science and technology – forging an exciting pathway for our students considering jobs in science, technology, engineering or maths.

As part of National Science Week, Geelong Lutheran College was fortunate to have three very interesting and diverse speakers come to visit. Each had their own unique story about their pathway into a career in science and how their job plays a very important role in the advancements of science.

Stephanie Gould-Hardwick, an Engineer at Ford, spoke to Middle and Senior School students about how her interest in creativity and design led her into a career in Engineering. Stephanie began studying at Deakin University and now works alongside design engineers to test and validate automotive designs. A day-in-the-life of an Engineer at Ford might involve slamming a car door 90,000 times to test it durability, or monitoring the impact of extreme heat on a particular car design.

Dr Jireh Choi, a research scientist from the Defence Science and Technology Group spoke passionately to senior students about her fascinating career. Jireh fell in love with physics in Year 12, and wanted to be a rollercoaster engineer but instead forged a successful career in the Defence. Jireh’s work focuses on aircraft structural fatigue, designing and conducting structural fatigue tests, to understand the fatigue characteristics of materials. Her results and analysis directly supports the Australian Air Force, to keep planes flying safely and economically. She has collaborated with organisations including RAAF, Boeing, British Aerospace, US Navy, US Air Force and the Royal Air Force.

The final speaker of the week was Frans Mahr, a biological technician, who’s work involves the study and control of weeds and how science plays a crucial part in this. Frans has travelled all over the world in pursuit of these studies, wading through alligator country in the United states and swamps in France. He spoke to students about how the Cane Toad was introduced unsuccessfully in Australia to control weeds which led to an increase in our quarantine restrictions. His work involves the rigorous testing of agents and how they affect our native plants, looking for new ways to control pests with natural methods.

A common piece of advice from each of our speakers was to build a strong foundation in Science while at school. Science and Maths are evolving rapidly and are critical in many of the new and exciting professions making their way into our world.