Dr Holly Tootell, Dr Yee Lian Chew and Dr Marian Wong recognised by Science & Technology Australia

Three UOW academics – Dr Holly Tootell, Dr Yee Lian Chew and Dr Marian Wong – will be named today (Thursday 3 December) among Australia’s official Superstars of STEM.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews will officially announce those chosen for Science & Technology Australia’s (STA) Superstars of STEM program in 2021-22.

STA has chosen 60 women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics from across Australia to be Superstars of STEM and have their research put in the media spotlight.

Dr Tootell is a socio-technical researcher who looks at how young children can be more involved in information technology design processes. In particular, she is interested in pre-school age children and their choices around what makes good human-computer design.

Known within the scientific community as “the Worm Lady”, Dr Chew uses the roundworm C. elegans, an organism with a compact brain consisting of only 300 brain cells, to study chronic pain.

A behavioural ecologist, Dr Wong studies the social behaviour of fish and the impact of changing environments on their behaviour. Her goal is to highlight the incredible behavioural and biodiversity of fishes and the importance of maintaining this diversity in marine and freshwater ecosystems.

Science & Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert said the program gave women in STEM stronger skills and confidence to step into expert commentary roles in the media.

“The Superstars of STEM program sets out to smash stereotypes of what a scientist, technologist, engineer or mathematician look like – these powerful role models show girls that STEM is for them,” she said.

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