A Unique Hunter Partnership Begins

RDA Hunter’s ME Program this week announced a new partnership with University of Newcastle’s Robogals and BAE Systems to engage the Hunter’s female primary and secondary school students in engineering, robotics and programming.

RDA Hunter’s ME Program this week announced a new partnership with University of Newcastle’s Robogals and BAE Systems to engage the Hunter’s female primary and secondary school students in engineering, robotics and programming.

The ME Program and BAE Systems will provide resources including laptops to support and expand Robogals’ Hunter Chapter and enable over 2000 female students in the Hunter access to their program of engineering workshops, competitions and events.

Robogals is a university student run organisation that started in Melbourne and now operates in universities across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, North America, Canada and the United Kingdom. It aims to inspire girls to participate in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) at school and university in preparation for engineering and technical careers.

The partnership between RDA Hunter’s ME Program, BAE Systems and Robogals will strengthen the links between Hunter industry and schools that have been established by RDA Hunter’s industry focused, STEM based workforce development Program, ME.

Andrew Chapman, Head of Engineering for Aerospace at BAE Systems said,

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with RDA Hunter’s ME Program and the Robogals to increase the number of girls choosing careers in technical fields.

Our industry and our company in particular realises the value of having females in technical roles and we see that the Robogals program is the first step in creating a more diverse and robust workforce.

The enthusiasm of the Robogals team is something we are keen to nurture and connect with our long term support of the ME Program.”

Robogals Newcastle President, James Rabbitt said "The Robogals team is ecstatic about the support that BAE Systems and the ME Program have been able to provide us.

“BAE's generous contribution of technology resources has allowed us to increase the level of engagement and thus the impact of our workshops to double their previous level. We are extremely appreciative of their ongoing support."

The Robogals activity travels to both primary and secondary schools giving female students access to Lego Robotics technology and showing them the steps required to build and program a robot.

Ashley Cox the Manager of the ME Program for RDA Hunter sees the solution as a win for everyone involved,

“This is a great outcome for all the participants. We have been focused on building the technical capacity of the Hunter’s students for the last five years and it’s partnerships like these that will see our region continue to build a strong regional workforce.

Robogals now have the ability to double their school visits and BAE Systems are developing a tangible way to grow their own talent pool right here in the Hunter.”