An ambassador with a curious mind

If curiosity is the lubricant for learning, then Scienceworks Museum is the place to challenge curious minds of all ages.

“Not only does Scienceworks make geeky stuff cool, it’s a place that inspires the next generation of inventors and innovators,” says NDY director and Scienceworks STEM ambassador Benita Husband.

Benita was recently announced as a Scienceworks STEM ambassador alongside 11 other business and community leaders, to promote new experiences to engage youngsters with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Ground Up: Building Big Ideas Together will open in December 2017 with construction-led activities for babies to five year olds and Beyond Perception, opening April 2018, will engage teens with the hidden world of wave forms.

“As our brains develop we are engaged and learn differently, so its fantastic to see that a STEM space at Scienceworks has been purposefully created for teenagers,” says Benita. “There are plenty of exciting educational play spaces for young children, and adults can access the museum’s facilities, but there has been a gap to date to target this important age group who are at a stage when they’re making decisions about their future careers.”

As our brains develop we are engaged and learn differently, so its fantastic to see that a STEM space at Scienceworks has been purposefully created for teenagers.

NDY director and Scienceworks STEM ambassador Benita Husband

With the rise of automation and digitisation, Benita says she has noticed a recent paradigm shift with a growing recognition for the importance of human insight, and empathy in the field of STEM.

“It will be fantastic to get more people engaged in STEM and to change their perspectives of it. As an engineer yes I do complex calculations – but most of my day is spent talking to people.”

And this focus on language in science is what Benita believes is important on how young women consider STEM as a career.

“Girls – generally – tend to use different language to boys. For example, my four-year-old daughter loves making rainbows and shadows, and playing with ice. We don’t often make the connection in the language we use with girls of this age, we don’t talk with her about how she’s witnessing physics in action – we talk about ‘rainbow or shadow play’ instead. By comparison, my six-year-old son by loves Lego, especially the Lego that has motors – at school when they do it they refer to it as ‘robotics’.

“STEM learning is heaps of fun – and having fun at school and having fun at work is so important. STEM also provides us with an understanding of how things work. It encourages us to question how things work, and to conduct our own enquiry to determine what is going on. This is helpful for careers in STEM but also for everyone in their everyday life.”
Through her honorary role as a Scienceworks STEM ambassador, Benita is looking forward to highlighting the wonderful adventures and inspiring contributions that young people – especially girls – can expect by choosing a technical career.

“It’s fantastic to see that Museums Victoria is investing in the future of STEM. It is such an important back bone to our economy and will continue to be into the future.”

Find out more about Scienceworks here:

Liam Zahra and Mom

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