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Mia Wright

Mia is a 15-year-old high school student who is passionate about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and inspiring and encouraging other kids to discover their love of STEM!

Mia WrightWhat do you do on an average workday?
An average “work” day for me is basically just going to school (which I love)! I attend St Margaret's College which is an all-girls independent school in Christchurch.

When I'm not at school you can usually find me in some other extracurricular, for example, robotics, internet of things, theatre sports, philosophy, film club, choir and so many others.

I also love to give back and teach others. I am a Netball umpire and am always at the courts on a Saturday or Wednesday helping out my school or playing games with my club. I help out at two different clubs, robotics and techsperts - one of which is run out of school that teaches 5-8-year-olds fun STEM activities. As well as this I also run my own club which is a makerspace! I love teaching kids and it makes me so excited when I am able to teach them something I love. 

I am currently working on a book with my mentor Marie Bowler which is aimed at encouraging kids and teachers to embrace technology and to integrate STEM into their class or home!

Apart from tech I also (like any other 15-year-old) love hanging out with my friends and family, or just relaxing by reading a book or watching some TV. I also adore Water Skiing and spend a lot of my summer out on the water with family or friends!

What are you studying at high school?
I am studying physics, chemistry, maths (mainly algebra), digital technology, English and drama. Classes like digital technology are often really small but this just tends to motivate me and make me want to get heaps of other girls involved.

Mia with family

Are your studies related to what you want to do as a career?
Yes, definitely! I would love to have a job that is based somewhere in the STEM field but I honestly don't think it really exists yet!

If I had to choose now I would love to work in government or in the UN improving the lives of people through STEM, although I always joke with my dad that doing something like the show “MythBusters” would be my perfect job! 

What would I like to share with young woman who is thinking about their career choices right now?
You can do it! There are so many opportunities out there for people in STEM - especially young women!

Don't be afraid of what you don't know and what might happen, be excited about it, find the challenge and excitement in every day and you will go farther than you have ever thought possible. I remember when I was just first starting out with technology I thought it was way too nerdy and not something I would enjoy, I was so wrong and I wouldn't have found that out unless I had dived head first into everything!

Take every opportunity that comes your way and don't get beaten down by the people who don't believe in you or tell you that you aren't good enough! Because you are good enough and you will do amazing things if you only put your mind to it!

Mia with a copper motorWhat are some of your highlights in STEM so far?
I have been given so many opportunities from STEM, and one of these was getting to go to the SingularityU New Zealand summit which was absolutely amazing. I learnt so much and met so many people including two of my heroes Kaila Colbin and Dan Barry which was one of the coolest experiences of my life.

Other than that just showing other people how fun STEM can be! This year my mentor and I have written a book that is aimed at educating and inspiring not only children to love STEM but there teachers and parents too!

I love being able to see others being inspired by the thing I love so much and am so passionate about!

Why do you believe engaging in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) is important to New Zealand?
I read something from the National Science Foundation that really struck a chord with me: “In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.”

But from a student’s point of view, I believe that STEM education caters to every child’s needs. A child interested in sports can use technology and science to further their abilities and sense of competition. A child interested in drama and dance can use technology to increase their audience and to immerse themselves in a wider range of cultural and different aspects of their field of choice. A child interested in art can use mathematics and engineering to better their creations. In the 21st century, every workforce - no matter the field - needs technology, science, engineering and mathematics.

Why is it important to have more women working in STEM?
There are so many reasons why more women should work in STEM, I believe that having equal representation is important no matter the career that you have! It's important that every workplace and company has equal representation from both genders as its makes a company have variation and difference in opinion and ideas, and in the 21st century this is incredibly important. 

It's hard being a girl in tech sometimes, but it's also really awesome! I have an absolutely amazing support system of other females in tech who are always ready to help me with my tech “adventures”.

It's important that women have the confidence and passion to go into this field and all the woman I have met so far have passion and brains in the bucket loads! Imagine how amazing our society would be if anyone could have their dream job without having to break through tough glass ceilings or battling stereotypes first!

Mia's robotics

Mia is a 15-year-old high school student who is passionate about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and inspiring and encouraging other kids to discover their love of STEM!

This profile is part of our series of girls and women in STEM.

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