Hutt at Heart
Rebecca Edgar a microbiologist at Callaghan in the Integrated Biotechnologies team
Rebecca Edgar a microbiologist at Callaghan in the Integrated Biotechnologies team

IYM young women visit Callaghan Innovation

During IYM 2019 (7 – 19 July) chosen, participating students wrote articles on their time with some of the awesome companies they visited. Here is the fifth in their series:

I was part of a group of young women from years 11 and 12 who attended the Innovative Young Minds (IYM) programme over the July school holidays and was fortunate to visit Callaghan Innovation during my week.

Callaghan Innovation is an innovation agency that helps businesses in New Zealand grow with the power of science, engineering, technology and innovation.

We first met a scientist who worked in Microfabrication and Molecular Sensing, her job involved utilising sensors to look at molecules. I found this extremely interesting, especially hearing how the Molecular Sensing Technology could be used in so many different departments, such as Biology and Physics.

We then met a representative from the Measurement Standards Laboratory. Her job involved providing an accurate Calibration Service to her clients using various types of measurement. The history behind measurement was intriguing as we heard how the first scientists worked out the criteria that would form the basis of what we know as a standard unit of measurement, the ‘metre’.

At the Integrated Bioactive Technology Department, they shared the chemistry, biochemistry and physics behind their job, which involved testing chemicals to find out their molecular identity. It was captivating to hear all the processes and tests they can apply to determine the contents of a molecule.

Our last visit was to the Addlab, the home of the 3D Printers at Callaghan. They design and manufacture components and structures for New Zealand businesses. We were able to see a plastic and metal printer, and the products formed in their vast workshop. It was fascinating to learn about the structure of a component and the physics of the geometric patterns used during the printing process. This was a field that our group was particularly keen to find out more and had endless questions for the representative about all the alternative uses and processes.

We ended our tour of Callaghan Innovation with a Lunch Reception, where we had a chance to talk to some of the scientists and engineers and ask further questions about what we had seen. Callaghan Innovation was a surprise to many of us, I believe this was due to the diversity of STEMM careers shown to us. It was an amazing experience and gave all the IYM girls more insight into possible career paths.

I feel very fortunate to have been able to experience and be one of 80 young women making up the Innovative Young Minds Alumni for 2019. Thank you to all the businesses and speakers who gave up their time so generously so we can further our knowledge.

Author: Trinity Hunt, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, Year 11

2019 marks the third year of the Innovative Young Minds (IYM) programme. IYM is designed to encourage young women to explore science, technology, engineering, mathematics and high-tech manufacturing. The week-long residential programme is open to female Year 11 and Year 12 students, and runs during the July school holidays each year.

This year, for the first time, IYM is running two sessions:

  • 40 young women are in each week long session, increasing the total attending to 80 for 2019
  • the young women attending come from all around NZ this year, instead of being limited to participants from Wellington region only
  • the first session is in the first week  (7 – 12) and the second session is in the second week (14 – 19) of the July school holidays

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