Girls on Track – Inspire event – 18 November
On Friday 18 November, a group of Year 9 and Year 10 girls attended Driver Risk Management at Perth Airport. The aim of the event was to inspire girls and women aged between 15 and 22 years old to pursue career pathways in the motorsport industry. These events are for those who are passionate about the sport and want to learn more about the various roles in the industry and how they can get their foot in the door. Throughout the course of the day, they completed four activities which concluded with a media coverage skit.
The first activity was a fitness and reactions test. Working in the motorsport industry requires you to have a healthy lifestyle and to keep on top of your fitness, even if you are not a driver. Race cars are very physical things. They are not easy to drive and there are immense forces running through the steering, the brakes and the astonishing acceleration that all batter the body. The girls started by completing a set of 10 squats and 10 skips on the skipping rope to get their heart rates going. Grouped into pairs, they worked together to complete a tyre obstacle course, which required a lot of strength and communication. The next activity was a reaction test using buzzers, with an average of 84 hits per minute. This was a fun exercise, which showed the girls how important the element of communication and hand/eye coordination are, in a motorsport team.
The key to winning a motorsport race is through the design and engineering of the vehicle. The girls followed a set of instructions and constructed a mini-Lego race car. They were required to change elements and Lego pieces to improve the car’s speed. One group of girls had the opportunity to remove unnecessary hardware, to make the vehicle shorter and to change the wheels to thicker ones to create more friction. This was partially a success as the car came third in the final race. They were guided by fellow UWA engineering students who also took them through the construction process of a motor vehicle.
Lastly, the girls went to the media room and learnt about what happens behind the scenes, which is what people see on television. A lot of preparation and pre-recording are involved in the process of covering a motor race. The girls separated into groups and created their own scripts for hosting a motorsport show during a race. It was interesting to see everyone’s take on presenting and entertaining audiences. They were lucky enough to meet and be able to work together with two successful women in the motorsport industry; Nadine Armstrong who is a motorsport journalist and Jessica Dane who is a presenter. It was very inspiring to see women succeed in this industry and encourages them to pursue careers in STEM. It was interesting to see the different opportunities and careers in the motorsport industry which do not necessarily include driving a vehicle.
They had an amazing day learning about motorsport and the opportunities it offers for young women. It broadened their minds to think about more careers that were never considered before. A special thanks to Miss Christopher for organising the Girls on Track event and showing them the importance of women’s “STEMPOWERMENT”.