A group of UNSW representatives recently visited high schools in the town of Tamworth, NSW, to showcase the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) opportunities available at UNSW Sydney.

The group was led by Dr. Darson Li from the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and included students from the UNSW Redback Racing team—a team of 150 dedicated students across engineering, science, business and media who are collaborating to design, build and race high-performance all-electric Formula Student race cars.

During the visit, the group successfully demonstrated that the university experience can extend far beyond classroom-based learning, also opening up opportunities for students to pursue exciting and rewarding projects that complement their individual interests.

Over the course of three days, the group visited four rural high schools: Calrossy Anglican School, Tamworth High School, Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School, and McCarthy Catholic College. Dr Li said that experience was highly rewarding due to the warm welcomes the group received.

“We had the privilege of visiting four rural high schools and engaging with a remarkable assembly of more than 300 students who share a passionate interest in the fields of Engineering and STEM,” said Dr Li.

“We greatly enjoyed our time at these four schools and thank them for welcoming us so warmly as we travelled around Tamworth showcasing what UNSW has to offer.”

Throughout the trip, the group also drew attention to some alternative entry pathways to UNSW that the high school students may be eligible for—the Gateway Program and the Portfolio Entry Scheme.

The first initiative, the Gateway Program, is a three-year program and early admission pathway for students in Years 10, 11 and 12 who attend a Gateway school or live in a low-socioeconomic area. Considering more than just an ATAR score, it offers early entry to UNSW or a significantly lower ATAR entry requirement for a range of degrees.

The second initiative, the UNSW Portfolio Entry Scheme, gives students the opportunity to showcase their passion and talent alongside their ATAR. For successful students who submit a high-quality portfolio, an early conditional offer may include an adjusted ATAR entry requirement up to 10 ATAR points below the lowest selection rank for a specific degree or range of related degrees.

Many students were pleasantly surprised to hear about these novel UNSW entry schemes—particularly those were excited by the opportunities shared by the Redback Racing but were also uncertain about he futures surrounding university.

Dr Li said that the trip was successfully on many fronts, saying, “We were able to inspire students to pursue their aspirations while also showcasing the possibilities that UNSW Engineering has to offer.”