In the first week of March 2021, GET 2021 was kickstarted with a virtual soft launch. Over 120 people were in attendance—54 female students who were shortlisted from 7 schools across Penang, over 60 female industry volunteers from engineering and technology background, industry supporters, as well as GET Core Team members.
The event started off with a speech by Azian Wahab, Chief of Corporate Impact at NI and GET Core Team Lead, who thanked industry supporters for dedicating time and resources to make the program a reality. Dato’ Shidah Ahmad, Vice President and General Manager of Keysight Technologies and patron of the GET program, spoke candidly about the important role women play in the engineering and technology industry, inspiring the girls in the most effective way possible. The next highlight was a sharing session by two female engineers—Velashini Veloo from Intel and Julia Si-Hoong from Keysight Technologies. Their session received excited responses from the girls in the chat—some of the girls are juniors who are currently studying in Velashini’s former school! Julia’s message of women being able to balance home and work received great praise from the industry supporter.
Group photo taken in virtual-session-style during the GET 2021 soft launch.
Although it seems like GET 2021 has just begun, the program has been long in the making. In mid-2020, female volunteers from NI, Intel, Micron, Lam Research, Keysight Technologies, Motorola Solutions and Penang Science Cluster came together to brainstorm the formation of GET. The team of 11, now known as the GET Core Team, were hands-on in planning and executing the whole program, including developing the program format, designing the modules, and recruiting industry volunteers and participants.
As part of the shortlisting process, applicants were required to complete a personal statement to show their motivation to join the program. It was especially encouraging to receive enthusiastic responses from the girls;
“Innovation in technology keeps expanding rapidly, and things that we once thought were impossible could be possible with knowledge in science and technology. So, of course I want to be like those inventors one day. I hope by joining this program, I could learn something new and be able to apply it in my career in future.”– Nurin, 16 years old
The girls also described their interest in STEM;
“During the lockdown last year, I started to build websites and discover 3D printing as I wanted to spend time wisely. As I was self-learning all these things through the Internet, I found myself falling in love with Engineering and Technology, especially 3D modeling. I realised I can easily combine Science, Math and Reka Bentuk dan Teknologi (Design and Technology) into the same line of thinking and learning process,” –Yee Pei, 16 years old
GET 2021 will be a fully-virtual program as fitting to the present times. To ensure a fair learning opportunity for all our participants, laptop and internet bursaries are provided for high-need participants.
The participants and industry volunteers got to interact with each other during the speed networking session in breakout rooms.
This year-long program will introduce participants to technical skills that are relevant to the engineering and technology industry. They will be matched with mentors as they work on their project—ranging from 3D modelling, data science, embedded systems, programming and website development. Besides that, the students will be given opportunities to develop soft skills and character competencies that will give them an edge for the future.
GET 2021 is off to a good start and the team is now gearing up for the next session which will take place at the end of March. Stay tuned for exciting stories and updates from GET 2021!