Congratulations to our Year 11 team on winning the Emerging Engineers Competition, a collaboration between UWA Girls in Engineering and Woodside OceanWorks. The competition offers the opportunity for all female high school students in Years 7-12 in the greater Perth area to research, design, and pitch a solution to a real-world problem in marine engineering.
Since February, the students have been researching, designing and refining a range of creative ideas to combat the real life marine problem of biofouling. Eight final teams were selected to present their innovations in front of a panel of judges from Woodside, Rio Tinto, Monadelphous, Oceaneering, and Chevron.
We had two teams in the finals, one from Year 8 and the other from Year 11. Both Helena teams performed extremely well as did the other teams in the competition – a fact acknowledged by one of the judges:
‘Within a short timeframe, the students researched, built prototypes and pitched novel engineering solutions, several involving coconuts! The presentation standard was exceptional and a testament to the efforts of students, teachers and their supporters. We look forward to welcoming these bright minds into the subsea industry.’ Gabrielle Pennock, Engineering Manager at Woodside
After delivering short pitches and undergoing a Q&A with the industry judges, the Helena Year 11 team rose to victory taking the Overall Winner prize.
‘I got involved in the competition as I had always had an interest in engineering and saw the opportunity to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be an engineer in a real-life context. The problem of solving biofouling was entirely unique and something I had never done before, let alone considered as a possible future. I found that this competition opened my eyes to the possibilities that are out there for anyone, but in particular the support base for girls.’ Cate, Year 11
The most enjoyable moments during the whole process were definitely when we finally came up with ideas that made sense and fitted the criteria presented and were able to find resources, albeit less than adequate, to perform our experiments. The most challenging aspect of the whole competition has to have been combining all of our ideas and trying to put it on paper in a way that was understood by everyone. We all started with relatively different ideas but were eventually able to create a solution that began our groups process. Katherine, Year 11
‘My favourite part was getting the opportunity to speak and present in front of professional judges with the idea that we had been coming up with for such a long time. Just getting the opportunity was so much fun and it was a massive achievement. Coming up with the idea was really hard since a lot of different types of solutions had already been invented and coming up with a solution that was different and better seemed almost impossible. It was amazing to get the opportunity to do this! Thank you so much!’ Eva, Year 8