Some of the best names in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) research will offer valuable insight into various fields of study when Griffith University’s STEM Roadshow touches down in Cairns on May 9.
Griffith experts with knowledge and experience in wide-ranging STEM industries – including engineering, environmental science, aviation, IT and urban planning – will be on hand to answer prospective students’ questions about the diverse programs offered at the Brisbane, Gold Coast and Logan campuses.
Dr Chat Kanchana-Udomkan, a PhD candidate within Griffith’s School of Environment and Science, oversees a breeding and research program in Far North QLD (the Tablelands and Innisfail) to give mangoes a run for their money with a new papaya that is more palatable.
The team selectively breeds new varieties that not only have a clean and delicious flavour profile but also higher sweetness, without GMO, for ultimate direct competition on the supermarket shelves with mango and honeydew melon.
Dr Kanchana-Udomkan said it’s these exciting fields that school students with a fondness for science could aspire to, and urged them to come along and hear more at Griffith’s STEM Roadshow.
“I always love doing research and science, that is the first reason for me to start my PhD journey. When I was looking for a PhD project and found that Griffith University had an interesting research on papaya breeding program, I jumped right into it and this is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life,” she said.
“As my PhD project was closely linked to the papaya industry, this led me to my career path to continue on papaya research as a research fellow at Griffith University.
“Science is definitely part of research in Agriculture as there are so many mechanisms, genes, enzymes, chemicals and pathways involved in plant growth. We can grow a tree better when we understand the whole complicated process.”
Griffith lecturers who regularly conduct research on the Great Barrier Reef run experiential programs for budding marine scientists, such as the Bachelor of Marine Science.
Students interested in tackling flooding, climate change adaptation and urban planning can gain the necessary skills from the Bachelor or Urban and Environmental Planning and Bachelor of Environmental Science programs.
Professor George Mellick, a former Cairns local and expert in Parkinson’s Disease as well as Griffith’s Head of Environment and Science, will present at the after-school event and offer insights into the careers that Cairns secondary students can aspire to by studying at Griffith.
“I think there’s a lot students now who leave school and don’t know if there’s a vocation they’re actually suited to until they get some experience – the Roadshow is a chance to get that experience,” Professor Mellick said.
“I did my work experience in a Department of Primary Industries pathology lab. There is a lot of work in the primary industries that use science graduates in the mining sector, marine biology, agriculture, tourism, so there’s a huge need for people with basic degrees in ecology, eco tourism, even medical science.”
Join Griffith University and its STEM experts for an interactive and informative evening at Rydges Esplanade Resort, 209-217 Abbott St, Cairns.
Doors open at 3.30pm and the event runs until 6pm with presentations at 4pm and 5pm. For more details and to register, visit griffith.edu.au/griffith-sciences/stem-outreach/STEM-roadshow