The ARC-ITTC in Joint Biomechanics welcomed 6 High school students to the centre as part of the STEM Research Internship Program under The QUT Future You STEM Summit  from September 27 to 30 at QUT’s Gardens Point campus.   

Hosted by PhD student, Mr Maxence Lavaill and Post-doc Dr Wolly can den Hoorn, students participated in several hands-on workshops and activities based on the various technologies and techniques used to analyse and investigate joint biomechanics and joint function including dry EEG methods, image processing software, robotics, ultrasound and musculoskeletal modelling used at the centre to develop personalised patient outcomes and transform the orthopaedic industry.

Students further gained valuable insight into how a research centre functions and began to develop a network of like-minded peers as part of their 4-day enrichment activities, including total immersion into the activities of the ITTC’s various research groups with attendance to internal research team meetings and visits to lab groups to engage with current in-silico models and scanners. 

The annual program is a fantastic way for grade 11 and 12 students to be exposed to the exciting and diverse world of SGTEM, and to begin the journey of discovering what their own future career might look like. As described the the QUT STEM High School Engagement Program Manager Simone Long, the summit traditionally attracts high achievers who are smart, motivated and already have interest in STEM. 

“We know from past experience that many of these students already know they want to pursue STEM courses at university. The summit gives them experiences and insights that can help them refine specific areas of study and career paths."

The rigorous program develops student's technical, leadership and critical thinking skills through a suite of on-campus practical learning, professional development and external assessment. As an intern, students will get the chance to undertake collaborative, group STEM research projects, led by QUT STEM experts and linked to real-world research and industry challenges. 

As one of the key aims of the ARC-ITTCs is to develop future leaders and build capacity through training, education, and mentoring of interdisciplinary research staff and students. The internship program strongly aligns with the centre;'s goals to empower future scientists, particularly in the fields of biomedical technology and personalised patient care. 

After exposure to various centre team meetings, scientific talks from current PhD student Alex Lee-Medland, Affiliate PhD student (QUASR-Herston Biofabrication Institute): "Multi-modal assessment of humeral head bone quality with implications for shoulder arthroscopy" (15'), and surgical fellow Dr Roberto Pareyon "The journey to the onlay grammot" (30') and time spent in the various labs, the team were suitably impressed with the insight and enthusiasm shown by the students.

We wish them all the best for their future studies and chosen career pathways.