Inaugural QUT mentorship program for aspiring STEM high school students launched

The BSRG Team’s Research Director, Associate Professor Paige Little was instrumental in creating a new QUT mentoring immersion program for young, aspiring STEM high school students where she has sourced eight QUT Academics who will be paired up with eight students.

The exciting new program partners these QUT Academics from the School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering in QUT’s Faculty of Engineering with students from Mable Park State High School (MPSHS) and launched on September 3, 2021.

The first of its kind for QUT, the program aims to address the lack of gender equity and social diversity that still exists in STEM-focussed careers and engage female high school students from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.  “Through the real-world experience they will gain in this STEM Immersion Program at QUT, we hope to give these young women a vision of themselves as a STEM professional,” said Associate Professor Paige Little.

The Year 9 and 10 students will attend QUT one day per fortnight for one school semester where they will work one-on-one with their academic mentor to achieve outcomes on their own individual STEM-based project.  “This program will give the young women the opportunity to carve out paths of success for their future,” Associate Professor Little said.

“Both QUT and Mabel Park State High School have energetically supported this, as we collectively see a program of this kind, focussing on young female students from a demographic of lower relative socio-economic advantage and First Nations Backgrounds, has much potential in creating opportunities for their future.”

Assoc. Professor Sara Couperthwaite and Dr Rachel Pepper with Year 10 Mabel Park State High School student Simi Singh.


The mentors span the academic career pathway, from post-doc to professor, and they will be working with their student engineers and scientists on an exciting and diverse range of projects, from measuring deformity in children with scoliosis, to creating an innovative ocean clean-up device. They will be real research projects and the mentors will support the students to learn the skills needed such as researching, evaluating their findings and presenting their work.



The launch was attended by QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil, who said she was looking forward to seeing how the STEM students tackled their new challenges. Professor Sheil also said QUT was committed to ensuring all young people, regardless of background, knew about the wide range of career opportunities open to them, and experience exactly what it means to a scientist, an engineer or an analyst.

For the full story of the QUT-Mabel Park Mentorship launch, learn more here!