You can't be what you can't see.
The age old motto is one concept behind Ballarat Tech School's Girls in STEM program that ran on Wednesday and Thursday.
Around 60 girls from 17 schools across the region participated in the program that creates new pathways through an understanding of breadth and depth in jobs.
Ballarat Tech School director Sofia Fiusco said it was important we put 'women in front of women' to show the diversity of what their jobs can be.
"That is the same for boys, Indigenous people and people with a disability - if they can see someone like them there is an understanding that they can be that as well," she said.
We will show the boys who is boss and give them the challenge.Tilly Burke, Girls in STEM participant
The two-day Girls in STEM program was in run in partnership with Bartlett Manufacturing.
Participants were presented with an industry challenge to design and create a new product.
For every production of a roller blind for a Bartlett Manufacturing garage door, 30 pieces of the same size PVC plastic are left over from window cutouts.
Participants of the Girls in STEM program were asked to design a product from the material, turning it from waste to a resource with cost benefits to business.
Day one of the program included a tour of Bartlett Manufacturing to understand how the product is manufactured, the properties of the material and computer aided design.
Participants worked with female designers to develop their ideas which they pitched on day two of the program.
Staff from Bartlett Manufacturing reviewed each design based on the ease of manufacturing, repeatability, and its response to the design brief to create an item that can be used in a household.
Woodmans Hill Secondary College year nine students Amelia Strait and Tilly Burke pitched an idea to create a reusable shopping bag that can be customised, written on and connected to a shopping trolley.
Both are members of their school's science academy, a select entry program for high achieving students with a passion for science.
Amelia and Tilly said it had been 'amazing' to see a different side to science that had opened their minds to new pathways and opportunities.
"At high school you are in the same school environment, you learn what your teachers tell you. Here you get to learn what you want," Amelia said.
"As important as school is you don’t learn all the real life things you need," Tilly said.
"One of the designers was talking to us about how she studied costume design and art, and now she is making her own fashion and worked in management. What you study isn’t what you do for the rest of your life."
"If you want to study something at university you can do that but she said she could guarantee we will change throughout our lives," Amelia said.
"Being able to see things earlier changes what we might be thinking of doing at uni. Before this I was probably going to do chemistry. Now I don’t know, I might change that completely."
Amelia and Tilly are two of only three girls in their school's science academy. Amelia joined the academy in year seven as the only girl, but more are joining each year.
We don’t have to stick to guidelines. We can do whatever we want.Amelia Strait, Girls in STEM participant
Both girls said they would use what they have learnt through the Girls in STEM program back at school in the science academy.
"We will show the boys who is boss and give them the challenge," Tilly said.
Amelia has a bright outlook for her future in science.
"With science, you can do whatever you want," she said.
"People always say it is always the boys that are doing the jobs and now they are trying to get women in those jobs as well.
"I am happy, because it means we can do whatever we want to do. We don’t have to stick to guidelines. We can do whatever we want."
The Girls in STEM program runs across two days four times a year.