Through the 100-day Biomechanics Research and Innovation Challenge (BRInC), 100 Australian high school girls from diverse backgrounds will work with 25 early career female biomechanists to develop their own biomechanics story.
BRInC aims to inspire and raise participation of high school girls in biomedical engineering, through focusing on the exciting field of biomechanics. Simultaneously, BRInC will provide awareness of entrepreneurial opportunities associated with this unique field.
Additionally, BRInC aims to grow the leadership capacity of current early career female biomechanists by giving them access to professional training and support to develop their expertise as STEM mentors and future leaders in biomechanics. The program will also build an inclusive and supportive professional network of Australian women in biomechanics.
The program is funded by the Federal Government’s AusIndustry Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship (WISE) grant program. It is in collaboration with researchers from University of Canberra, University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, Griffith University, University of Queensland and Central Queensland University, as well as BrainSTEM, a not-for-profit organisation that runs STEM based mentoring programs for high school students.
Over a period of 100 days, during terms 1 and 2 in 2022, 100 girls will conduct a biomechanics project with the support and guidance of the mentors and attend a series of immersive workshops and masterclasses to build key STEM and life skills. The hands-on program will expose girls to the creative, applied field of biomechanics and increase their awareness of associated entrepreneurial opportunities.
Concurrently, early career biomechanists will access training and support to develop their expertise as STEM mentors and future leaders. They will also gain access to a professional network of early and mid-career female researchers in the field.
The program will be delivered Australia wide with a range of university and industry partners, including regional and metropolitan institutions. We aim to recruit a geographically diverse range of Australian based mentors from varied backgrounds and fields of biomechanics, to showcase this highly applied area of science. Year 9 and 10 girls from regional and remote locations, culturally diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and girls with a disability are encouraged to participate as program mentees.
The project is in collaboration with BrainSTEM, an industry partner with extensive experience in STEM based mentoring programs.
We are looking for female early or mid-career researchers in the field of biomechanics or biomedical engineering to join the BRInC program as mentors. No previous mentoring experience is needed as all training will be provided. We are looking for people who are passionate about their career, girls in STEM and empowering other women and girls. We hope that you are full of ideas, excited to inspire girls and are available once a week for app. 1–2 hours to mentor your team.
The mentors will attend training workshops that are designed to empower them to inspire and build confidence in the STEM capabilities of girls, as well as build their own confidence as STEM role models. The training will be delivered by BrainSTEM who are experienced in STEM mentor development.
The mentors will form part of a network of female biomechanists and biomedical engineers around Australia, who will provide ongoing professional support to each other.
If you have been looking for a way to inspire young girls to study biomechanics, register to become a mentor now.
Are you a Year 9 or Year 10 student? Would you like to learn what biomechanics is? Are you keen to get a glimpse of university life and culture?
By signing up to BRInC, you will get to work in a team of four to five girls to develop your own biomechanics project and story. Over 100 days, with the guidance of a mentor, you will use laboratory-based resources and access training on a weekly basis to gain hands-on experience in biomechanics and the biomedical engineering industry.
You will take part in design thinking workshops and masterclasses facilitated by BrainSTEM to further progress your scientific and entrepreneurial discoveries. The workshops are led by BrainSTEM, industry partners and international leaders in the field. These workshops and masterclasses aim to provide you with critical life skills and help you to develop important STEM and entrepreneurial skills. During the program, you will meet other like-minded girls and together you get to create your own biomechanics stories. You do not need any previous knowledge of biomechanics or STEM, only an interest to learn and a curious mind are needed.
To end BRInC, together with your team and mentor, you will attend an online event where each team will deliver a project pitch and share their biomechanics story. You will get to learn from your fellow team members as well as network with important stakeholders in the field.
The program is organised in line with the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe principles and can be moved to on online format if required.
The project is led by Dr Celeste Coltman from the University of Canberra together with seven other early career female researchers and ANZSB members across Australia - Dr Taylor Dick (University of Queensland), Dr Michelle Hall (University of Melbourne), Dr Crystal Kean (Central Queensland University), Dr Karen Mickle (La Trobe University), Dr Laura Diamond (Griffith University), Dr Martina Barzan (Griffith University) and Dr Jayishni Maharaj (Griffith University).