About 80 WECA members and educators attended Engineering for Educators 2015 hosted by The Gallagher Group recently. It was excellent to see two dozen technology teachers from 10 secondary schools from throughout the region touring the iconic Waikato company and rubbing shoulders with leaders of some of our best engineering businesses.
The importance of clear engineering career pathways was perfectly illustrated when Fraser High School electronics teacher Marie Cameron spotted a former student working in Gallagher's R&D division during the tour. Marie had toured the Gallagher Group in about 2008 and was so impressed she returned to school and encouraged Kirsten Nel and other Year 10 students to consider a career at the company.
An inspired Kirsten went on to win a University of Waikato School Leavers Scholarship and Science Fees Entry Scholarship and graduated BE(Hons) with first class honours in electronic engineering. University-organised work placements were an opportunity for her to prove herself and gain experience in her dream job and, before her final placement concluded, she was offered a full-time position at Gallagher as an electronic engineer. It took seven years from the time Kirsten was inspired by her teacher in Year 10 to when she was qualified and employed.
Kirsten is an excellent example of how events like Engineering for Educators are so vital to the future of our industry.
Click here for this month's update, including photos from the event.