Women in STEAM with Telstra

March 22, 2021

Written by: Stacie Gibson

On Wednesday March 17th we kicked off our 2021 event program, Women in STEAM, with Michelle – Developer Advocate & Product Specialist and Akansha – Security Technologist from Telstra. Everyone was a little nervous at the start, as this was our first face-to-face event since Covid. The students arrived all eager to start the day and hear from these inspirational speakers.

Michelle and Akansha spoke to over 35 students and their teachers from 4 of our partner schools. They shared their professional journey and how they chose the career they are in today. Each of the students had the opportunity to ask them questions at the conclusion before having a short break and heading to the IoT workshop. Each student had an IoT device and were given a set of instructions to follow which Michelle led them through. Accompanying Michelle and Akansha were 6 other Telstra graduates to help sit with each group of students and assist with the workshop. The workshop not only gave the students the opportunity to learn a new technology but perhaps more importantly also engage one on one with an industry professional.

Review from Mooroolbark College Student:

My feedback for today would be that it was really really fun and interesting!, it was amazing to talk to all the women about their jobs and how they got there and learn a bit more about the field , the work they do and all the opportunities they were offered, it really opened my eyes to what I want to do in the future and the steps I need to take to do so, the workshop was also really fun to do and I loved doing the coding, today was absolutely amazing and I loved learning about what working in technology actually is and what it takes! I’m really excited to do more stuff with the tech school! 

Michelle Howie Review:

✓Encourage more young women to pursue studies & careers in STEAM

✓Spread awareness of our IoT capabilities and developer programs into regional Victoria

✓Get Telstra IoT into tech schools in regional/suburban Victoria

✓Give Tech Schools the confidence to use out IoT network & discuss possible IoT partnerships

✓Show how cool it is to work at Telstra!

That’s what myself and some Melbourne Telstra grads got to do last week at the Yarra Ranges Tech School!

We started with sharing our crazy and unpredictable journey’s as women in tech at Telstra, and had incredible engagement from the year 8-11 girls from various schools in the area.

I took them past the 3D printing and biometrics labs to our own IoT workshop, using Arduino MKR NB 1500 and Telstra Cat-M1 SIMs to set up their own Environmental Sensor sketch. At the start of the session, they didn’t know what IoT stands for, but by the end they were quoting example use cases from Telstra AFL Trackers to shark spotting drones

For me, who usually does these workshops with enterprise software developers, I was encouraged by the enthusiasm and inherent skills of these digital natives!

If you want to try out this workshop at home yourself, you can follow along with our tutorials, check the ‘resources’ tab here: https://dev.telstra.com/iot-marketplace/arduino-mkr-nb-1500