School In feature image

School’s in for summer

Girls’ Choices Summer School was the first and will be the last university experience for a student about to graduate with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Newcastle.

Sarah Pilgrim attended Girls’ Choices in 2008 and is now finishing her final year at University by being a group leader at this year’s event.

“I really have come full circle,” said Sarah.

“It is nice to be encouraging the next generation of students. I can relate to how they’re feeling having been in their shoes and I have a great group of girls that I think will benefit a lot from this experience. Girls’ Choices showed me that science was something I could pursue and I ended up studying Biology and Chemistry,” she added.

Girls’ Choices is organised by AIM HIGH and provides female Year 9 students from schools around the state with a five-day residential university experience.

The program is now in its eighth year and focuses on increasing student engagement with science, mathematics and career opportunities that exist beyond high school.

Almost 90 students are on campus this week taking part in a range of activities.

Students are fully submersed into university life and attend lectures, labs, university facilities including the Forum and stay in secure on-campus accommodation.

Field trips to local organisations are also integrated into the program so students get a chance to see the practical side of careers.

“Girls’ Choices helped me realise what I wanted to do with my studies. All of the guest speakers and field trips to different places helped show me that there are jobs for women in science and that it is an achievable goal,” said Sarah.

“It is such a great opportunity for participants and I am really grateful I’ve been able to experience it from a student and now a staff perspective,” she added.

The male version of the program (LIVE IT!) commenced on Sunday December 14.

The program is funded via the Commonwealth Higher Education Participation and Partnership Program.

Find out more information at

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