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Students Take Part in Shadow Tech

July 09, 2019 at 12:40 PM

Report by Stefanie Humphries, Isabella Campion, Sophia Curlew (Year 10) and Michelle Guan (Year 11)

This month we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to the 2019 Shadow Tech. Shadow Tech is a programme which runs in six different locations across New Zealand and aims to provide girls from Year 9 to 11 with the opportunity to explore and experience jobs in digital technology.

Our day began at Diocesan School for Girls where more than 250 girls from different schools were put into groups. The four of us (Isabella Campion, Stefanie Humphries, Sophia Curlew (Year 10) and Michelle Guan (Year 11) were placed in a group with four girls from Otahuhu College with the organisation, Vector Limited. Before we left, we heard from many guest speakers, each sharing their experience and advice in digital technology.

We were driven by two mentors who worked at Vector to their Newmarket premises. Our main mentor was Angela Simpson who organised and looked after us for the day. When we arrived, we were shown into a conference room where we spent most of our time. For the first half of the day, we met with many Vector employees who showed us what they did within the company and the possible career paths we could choose.

One of the many highlights from these presentations was the opportunity to wear VR (Virtual reality) headsets which were designed to help their truck drivers practice how to handle a natural gas leak first hand. Another highlight was being able to visit their control room. In the control room they had monitors which were able to control the power input and output in specific regions. They explained how they could turn on and off the current of electricity through circuits when needed.

Vector’s young engineers also showed us a new project that they are working on, which aims to help homes in case of outages. They are one of the only companies in the world to be testing this new idea. They demonstrated how you can use electric car batteries to store energy and supply basic household items with power. During the demonstration, they hooked an electric car up to a hairdryer and television. After this, we were taken back to Diocesan where Edwina, the head of Shadow Tech debriefed us.

The Shadow Tech convention was a great opportunity to learn more about girls in technology and how broad this field is. In this modern world, every industry uses or benefits from some sort of technology. It was interesting to get to know people currently in this field, learn what they do and how they got to where they are today. A big takeaway from this event was, a job in technology does not necessarily mean coding and there are many different sectors of work in the technology sector. It also showed us that it doesn’t matter if most people around you are male as your voice is as important no matter your gender.

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