Prospective engineers had the chance to try their hand at their future careers at an engineering expo at Lake Illawarra High School this week.
Students in years 9, 10 and 11 from 10 high schools across the region attended the Discover Engineering Day, run by Engineers Australia on Thursday.
Representatives from several universities, including the University of Wollongong, as well as TAFE and the military were on hand to answer questions about study paths, and current engineering students gave advice and spoke to the crowd about their experiences.
There were also demonstrations of robotics, racing cars and chemical reactions, as well as hands-on activities, including building a paper tower strong enough to hold 2.5kilograms in weight.
Richard Hanna, executive operations manager of Engineers Australia, said teenagers with a range of passions took part.
‘‘Engineers are involved in everything, it’s a very open field,’’ he said.
‘‘Some kids like to play with Lego when they’re young and wonder where they can go with that. They want to know more about what engineers do and how they can get into it.’’
Mr Hanna said the day was about getting students to try a range of activities and learn about the different offshoots of engineering to refine what area sparked their interest.
He said although women made up about 10per cent of employees in the field, it was encouraging to see 15 to 20per cent at the discovery day were female.
Expo attendee Warilla High School student Tristan Waine, 17, is studying physics, chemistry and maths.
‘‘I’ve gotten a lot of knowledge about engineering careers today,’’ he said.