Superheroes STEAM ahead!

Screen_Shot_2015-01-20_at_10.30.42_PMOur 27th of February 2015 event welcomed 350 Auckland mums and daughters at the Neon Foyer, Faculty of Engineering, University of Auckland. This time we were using the power of superheroes to promote careers in STEAM, with talks by two very special female superheroes: Nanogirl aka Dr. Michelle Dickinson from New Zealand and Jewella aka Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen from Australia. At the end of the event each girl was given a free book “Tech girls are superheroes” to take home.

Apart from the inspirational speakers, there was also a small career fair, featuring the following organisations: Entopix, Fronde, Futureintech, LIC, Orion Health, She#, Skills, SummerOfTech, Vend, Westpack and Xero. You can learn more about these companies on our Sponsors page. The event was free, thanks to not just these companies, but also pledges from private people through our PledgeMe campaign. And of course, the STEAM ahead team volunteers have put in many hours of work to make this happen.

These photos are a mix of professionally taken shots by Roxanne Anderson ( and quick snaps by Jenine on her phone.

Our speakers

Michelle Dickinson

Invisibility and invincibility are two superpowers that Dr. Michelle Dickinson always dreamed of as a child, and is still trying to achieve them through setting up her Nanomechanical testing laboratory at the University of Auckland.

With a background in fracture mechanics Michelle is formally trained in breaking engineering components, but is passionate about devoting her life to breaking sterotypes, through her science communication media work on National TV and radio.

Michelle has worked with billionaires and brilliant minds, offering her input into ways to harvest solar energy and create cheap and accessible drinking water as well as helping to design technologies for a sustainable future. 

A competitive kitesurfer, casual rock climber and practicing martial artist, Michelle works hard to inspire females to push the boundaries in both science and sports and to encourage sustainable living through engineering design.

You can see Nanogirl in action on the TV from time to time and learn about the projects she is involved in here:

Jenine Beekhuyzen

Jenine (aka Jewella) is an entrepreneur and the Founder of the Tech Girls Movement, a non-profit to inspire girls into technology careers. She produced Tech Girls Are Superheroes and Tech Girls are Chic! free books which have received widespread success.

She is also a part-time academic and is the CEO of her own research consulting company Adroit Research.

Dr Beekhuyzen serves in voluntary roles at the United Nations and has research collaborations in Europe.

She has awards for her university teaching and her research internationally, she is a “rising female star in Australian Tech” (Sydney Morning Herald newspaper 2014), and the 2014 AIIA Queensland ICT Woman of Year.