CANOBOLAS Rural Technology High School year 7 students Natasha Ambachtsheer and Shardai McNeill had no idea what an engineer did two days ago.
Now they’re making robots, entering mathematical equations into computers and teaching their robots to rescue people.
The students were part of a group of about 180 girls at the high school who joined up with University of NSW engineering students, Robogals, to learn about engineering.
Robogals is an international, student-run organisation that aims to increase female participation in engineering, science and technology.
University student Irene Tsimos said less than 10 per cent of engineers were female.
She said part of the problem was girls had not experienced engineering at an early age and did not realise what was involved.
So Robogals showed up with some fun.
“I was lucky when I started engineering that I really liked it, I had no real idea about what it was,” she said.
Out of the engineering students who attended the school, one will work for Optus, one will work in megatronics, one will design software apps and one still had two years to go at university.
Shardai said designing and building a robot was not as hard as she thought and she opted to show up for two more sessions with the engineers.
“It’s great, it is a lot more fun than I thought it would be,” she said.
“I like watching [the robot] succeed after I finished making it.”