Punting on an engineering career

30 September 2015

While most of his AFL footy mates were off on school holidays, Marcus Valastro travelled thousands of kilometres to further his education this week.

High school student Marcus Valastro at the Indigenous Student Engineering Spring Workshop at the University of Sydney

High school student Marcus Valastro (centre) at the Indigenous Student Engineering Spring Workshop at the University of Sydney.

The 16-year-old Darwin High School student attended the Indigenous Student Engineering Spring Workshop (ISESW) at the University of Sydney this week.

Valastro, who has already proved himself on the AFL field, impressed the workshop coordinators with his enthusiasm and dedication to the week-long engineering school.

"I want to play AFL but I also want to excel in my education,” explained Valastro, who attended ISESW to help him determine his future career path.

"The activity I have enjoyed and found the most valuable was visiting the mechatronic lab. I knew a little about mechatronic engineering but seeing the robots in action has really inspired me."

The ISESW provides Year 11 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who show an aptitude for engineering with an insight into the extensive career choices available to graduates It also helps young people define their study goals.

Valastro and six fellow students from across Australia took part in the elite program which included site visits to Google, ResMed and Laing O’Rourke.

During the week-long course, the group also attended study skills and essay writing workshops to assist them with their preparation for Year 12 final exams.

Marcus was encouraged to apply for the ISESW after attending the annual Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School – held at the University earlier in the year – where his dedication was recognised, winning him the Bob Hawke Leadership Award.

Related articles

13 August 2015

Resetting the table to halt expanding waistlines

Can farmers, producers and regulators work together at all points of the food supply chain to help curb Australia’s growing obesity problem?

27 August 2015

Eureka Prize for Associate Professor Michael J. Biercuk

Associate Professor Biercuk was recognised with the prestigious prize for contributions at the leading edge of quantum science research.

14 August 2015

Scientists should take a leaf out of wellness bloggers' books

How can we distinguish credible wellness information from unfounded pseudoscience? And why is it that wellness gurus are often taken more seriously than scientists? Jackie Randles writes.

14 August 2015

18 of our most exciting scientists on Twitter

It's National Science Week this week from 15-23 August and for all you science lovers, we have created a list of the University of Sydney's most exciting scientists on Twitter.

11 August 2015

How Einstein could help unlock the mysteries of space travel

Warp drives might be the stuff of science fiction, but they could be a step closer to reality if we look to Einstein's theory of gravity, according to a University of Sydney researcher.

11 August 2015

Proof is in the breakfast cereal

The science of snap, crackle and pop has expanded beyond the breakfast bowl with an international research team using puffed rice cereal to explain the movement and crushing of porous materials when compressed.

06 August 2015

University of Sydney celebrates Sydney Science Festival

From Einstein's theory of gravity to Aboriginal astronomical knowledge, University of Sydney researchers are proving there's no single formula for exploring a love of science this National Science Week. 

12 August 2015

How mobile phones could save us from obesity

A world-first intervention designed by Charles Perkins Centre researchers specifically for young people found mobile phones could improve health and halt weight gain. 

10 August 2015

Starchy carbs, not a Paleo diet, advanced the human race

Starchy carbohydrates were a major factor in the evolution of the human brain, according to a new study co-authored by researchers from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.

10 August 2015

Big data maps world's ocean floor

Scientists from the University of Sydney's School of Geosciences have led the creation of the world's first digital map of the seafloor's geology.