By DEBRA MAR Photos YANNI
Arched over a science bench in front of a whiteboard loaded with equations derived from The Periodic Table are two delightful, intelligent 15 year old Rosebud Secondary College science students, Trinity May and Olivia Stevenson who met writer Debra Mar to answer the question – Why are you Mad about Science?
Draped in white lab coats, Trinity and Olivia confidently manipulate scientific tools to conduct experiments. These two youthful, energetic girls have a zest for life and learning about all things scientific.
Olivia favours an interest in marine biology whereas Trinity has a fascination for criminology and forensic science.
“It’s fun and exciting,” said Trinity who loves to know why and how compounds change when mixed with other compounds.
Olivia is an animal lover, particularly marine wildlife with a focus on their habitat and environment.
“I learn a lot about animals from TV and enjoy watching David Attenborough programs,” she said.
Both girls have been captivated with science from a young age and both agree TV shows and documentaries such as NCIS and the like provide insight and inspiration into the world of science.
Rosebud Secondary College fully supports and encourages students of both genders to have a go at all science subjects, and three of the college’s female students have attended the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra in the past two years. Trinity and Olivia believe women are not represented enough in the science sector and industries.
“I think girls at a young age are mislead because of the high number of men in science type jobs therefore women can feel outnumbered, intimidated and a little over-powered,” explained Olivia. “Women have to move forward and realise they are capable of doing the job in male- dominated professions.”
Part of the issue appears to be that women in general are not empowered and supported enough in our society to follow a career in science.
“Every time I think of science jobs I think of the ‘big things’ and big inventions – women are sometimes pushed to do childcare and beauty therapy (real ‘girly’ things) and to work in shops. Men are taught to do the big things – to invent cars and all the important jobs. You rarely see women doing the major things,” Trinity concluded.
Olivia’s observation on the topic of women in male dominated jobs is similar to Trinity’s view and she doesn’t see women doing traditional men’s jobs such as trades. “I don’t see very many girl ‘tradies’– it’s the same deal with science,” she said. “It’s like the world dictates what women can and can’t do and honestly, I have a brain just as good as a man so don’t tell me what I can’t do.”
Trinity believes job opportunities should be equal for both genders.
“Everyone is capable of doing what ever they want to do as long as they try and work hard enough for it.”
She aspires to attend Monash or Deakin University to further her passion and focus on a criminology and forensic science course. Olivia also wants to attend Monash or Deakin University and study Marine Biology.
Rosebud Secondary College has had a powerful influence on the beginning of Trinity and Olivia’s science journey and careers and both agree it’s a great school. Olivia said, “The teachers are very encouraging and push us to do more and prepare us for exams and what to expect.”
Trinity said, “Our school offers many opportunities and openings for all students.”
Olivia admires 2005 Australian of the Year Dr Fiona Wood AM, a burns specialist and creator of ‘spray on skin’ for burns victims. “I look up to her because she helps burns victims in poor countries.”
Trinity is the oldest among her siblings and is their role model. She sees her mum as her mentor.
Asked why their teachers chose them to share their thoughts and represent the science students attending Rosebud Secondary College, “I completed a pharmacy course and achieved 95/100,” said Olivia. Trinity explained, “I was chosen because I am good at science and enjoy it.”
Trinity and Olivia possess an ambitious and mature outlook and are excited with the opportunities available to them as they continue on their career path because they are…MAD ABOUT SCIENCE!