Engineering a future for rural and Indigenous students

Engineering a future for rural and Indigenous students

An interactive roadshow will visit regional schools across NSW to inspire rural students to study science.

On Tuesday 15 July, staff and students from UOW's Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences will load up two trailers with hands-on technology and engineering demonstrations and hit the road to host workshops at schools in rural New South Wales.

Activities the students will get their hands on when the roadshow visits their school include an open-wheeler racer designed and manufactured by UOW students, a driver training racing simulator, test rigs for water flow and timber beams, a bicycle that uses pedal power to make a milkshake as well as extracting the genome from fruit.

The travelling technology roadshow will cover more than 2,000 kilometres as they visit schools in Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Mudgee, Condolbin, Orange and Blayney.

It is part of a UOW and Federal government-funded commitment to raising participation of students from rural areas, Indigenous backgrounds, as well as those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The school visits are staffed by a team of 10 UOW representatives, including nine undergraduate students, who will share their experiences of life at university.

Roadshow host UOW Engineer Dr Bob Wheway said: “The students we visit are from mostly from years 8, 9 and 10 and for them it’s a critical time for deciding on their subjects for Senior School and making choices about their future.”

“The further you are from the city the less likely you are get a university education. Education has a role to play in breaking the cycle of unemployment and lack of opportunity that confronts many of these regional communities.

“Unfortunately, many feel that a university education is out of reach or a place where they don’t belong. We want to show them that a technology and engineering education gives them great future life and job prospects."

In 2013, the roadshow visited 15 schools, from the Tweed river region in the north of the state, to Albury in the south and Broken Hill in the west. The success of that trip has led to invitations from 34 schools to visit during 2014.

Note to media: The roadshow team with the trailers and working demonstrations will be available for photos and interviews at 11am on Monday 14 July at SMART Lane (between buildings 6 and 8) UOW main campus. The roadshow departs UOW at 10.30am on Tuesday 15 July.

Media contact: Dr Bob Wheway on +61 497 912 574 or

Travelling technology roadshow timetable

(All sessions begin at 9am)

Date   Location
Wednesday 16 July Wagga Wagga High School, Wagga Wagga 
Thursday 17 July Riverina Anglican College, Wagga Wagga
Friday 18 July  Griffith High School, Griffith
Monday 21 July  Mudgee High School, Mudgee
Tuesday 22 July  Condobolin High School, Condobolin
Wednesday 23 July  Orange High School, Orange
Thursday 24 July  Canobolas Rural Technology High School, Orange
Friday 25 July  Blayney High School, Blayney