February 11th is International Day of Women and Girls in Science, recognising the crucial role women and girls play in science and technology. To celebrate, we’re showcasing our very own Head of Programs, Ember Chittenden!
Ember has a background in science education, spending 24 years teaching locally and overseas before joining us at Bendigo Tech School. She is passionate about changing the dynamics of science education and inspiring more female students to undertake STEAM professions.
Keep reading to discover Ember’s science journey.
“If Science is defined as the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the world and follows evidence-based methodology, then my science journey began when I was a child. I was the girl who was forever testing, observing, experimenting, questioning and exploring how things worked. I liked to pull apart broken items such as radios, toy cars, old toys – I was inquisitive. I loved experimenting. As a primary-aged child, I would rummage throughout the house to find various items to build intricate contraptions, using my newfound knowledge of how things went together.
As I got older and began my Secondary Education, I became inspired by the great educators standing before me who encouraged this curiosity and allowed it to prosper. I became intrigued by the science behind everyday phenomena. I went on from VCE to study an Undergraduate Science degree at University along with Engineering and Languages. An odd combination! By now, I had realised that I loved learning a second language, and I was inspired to see how the Science field and languages could intertwine.
After majoring in Chemistry, and travelling using my Language and Science degrees, I decided to pursue further education and take my love of learning to try to inspire the next generation of Scientists, Engineers, Linguists, Mathematicians – I completed my teaching qualifications and have spent the last 24 years aiming to inspire students to pursue their dreams and nurturing their spirit of curiosity. I have been fortunate to teach both here and abroad as well as helping shape the future of Science Education by lecturing at La Trobe University.
I am grateful to now have the opportunity to continue these pursuits in my role as Head of Programs at the Bendigo Tech School, collaborating with schools and industry to create STEAM-based enterprise opportunities for young people in our region.
The advice I would give to a young student who is interested in pursuing a career in science is to do what interests you, get involved and ask questions. Be bold and don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done. Creativity is a key ingredient for success in Science and STEAM adventures. Through my role as an educator, I hope to inspire more female students to undertake science professions. If science is your aspiration, embrace it and enjoy the journey.”
Head of Programs | Bendigo Tech School