Over 200 primary and high school students have soaked up some spellbinding experiments while learning how to break down the barriers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths.
The inaugural Girls Day Out in STEM 2019 catered for about 180 participants but over 250 flocked to the Charles Sturt University Port Macquarie campus for Sunday's event.
Organiser Petriea Skitek was ecstatic with the attendance which targeted girls from 10 years up to 14 years.
"We had people calling us for tickets from up and down the coast, from Cundletown right through to Kempsey," she said.
"Many of these people told us they just could not miss attending this day.
"We had about 180 confirmed for today but over 250 are here. We had people rocking up on the day.
"I really believe that it takes a whole village to raise a child," she said. "You can't do all this yourself."
Ms Skitek said the day was successful because parents understand the importance of STEM to the future of their daughters' careers and ambitions.
While industry and higher education are trying to attract more women to careers and education in STEM, Ms Skitek says more needs to be done to attract girls' interest at an earlier age.
She says it remains a stumbling block.
"The talent pool in STEM remains too low. We are starting way too late to try and attract girls and women into these industries," she said.
"This event is about planting the seeds early. If we don't attract and interest them now, we have sort of lost them already.
"Industry and education understand the need to bring STEM further back into the education system, to the age groups starting from as young as 10 years of age.
"Our ultimate goal is to spark something in just one of our participants today. If just one girl wants to be a chemist or a scientist because of today, we've done well."
Two students who participated on the day included, Sophia Skitek and Alliyra Bentley.
Sophia is in year 6 at SCAS, loves STEM subjects and has ambitions of being a vet or a doctor.
She said the day was an opportunity to see and hear from some of the brightest minds already working in STEM.
"If we have access to STEM subjects at school then that will make it a lot easier for get into STEM subjects when we reach university," she said.
"I like science, maths and technology and I also enjoy helping people. If I could be a vet or a doctor that would be wonderful.
Sophia was looking forward to masterclass with Dr Kristy Kostalas titled The Doctor is skIN.
"I am keen to work with suture needles and pig skin," Sophia said.
Sophia attended the event with seven of her friends and they were enjoying the question and answer format.
Hastings Public School year 5 student Alliyra Bentley was enjoying listening to the keynote panelists, Stephanie Bendixsen, Dr Jazmin Daniells and Taylah Griffin.
"It's been a great opportunity to get inspired by older people, particularly those on the panel," she said.
"It is also good to get a better understanding of just what STEM is all about.
"Some people really don't understand what STEM is all about. For me, it is where you get a deeper understanding of a particular topic.
"I like maths, art, drama and sciences and in the future I'd like to be doing exactly the types of jobs some of the panellists do," she said.
"I will be going home inspired."
Alliyra said she was attending the event with several of her school friends.
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