Recognition for a curious mind

Sunbury Downs College year 10 student Lily Morgan has been offered a place in the highly selective Curious Minds program. (Damjan Janevski)

Oliver Lees

Stellar Sunbury Downs College student Lily Morgan has been hand-picked to participate in a program designed to assist girls find their way in the field of science and technology.

Established by Australian Science Innovations, the six-month Curious Minds program provides a mixture of hands-on learning, mentorship and collaborative projects for a select bunch of exceptional year 9 and 10 girls from across the country.

The program is focused on developing opportunities within science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classes, the latter of which is Lily’s favourite area.

In the past two years, as a year 9 and year 10 student, Lily has finished within the top one percentile at the Australian Mathematics Competition.

Lily’s teacher, Lauren Jackson, said the school was contacted to see if Lily would take part in the program on the basis of these exceptional results.

“She has always been very independent in her learning and I think this is a really worthwhile program,” Lauren said.

“There seems to be less girls confident to continue with their STEM subjects unless they’re doing very well.”

Lily said she was most looking forward to being paired with a mentor, with whom she would get to research a project to present in front of her peers at the end of the program.

“I think for girls especially, there’s not as clear an idea of what careers to follow [in STEM], and there’s less of a historical precedent,” she said.

“The school has been supportive. When I got accepted, a bunch of teachers congratulated me and Ms Jackson has always been so helpful.

“I just really enjoy understanding how the world works and being able to explain these concepts.

“My philosophy is, if I put in the effort, I can succeed regardless of the challenge.”