UNSW Canberra’s annual Maths Prize celebrates women in STEM


Outstanding high school mathematicians were recognised on Thursday with the presentation of the UNSW Canberra Prize for the Best Female Student in Mathematics.

The Year 8 and 9 recipients, nominated by their schools, are the top female maths student in their year.

“UNSW Canberra is celebrating the strength of female students in mathematics and encourage more young women to study maths at a tertiary level,” says Professor Michael Frater, Rector of UNSW Canberra.

“We are committed to reducing the gender gap in STEM subjects, as women represent only 16% of the STEM workforce, yet it is one of the fastest growing sectors.”

Together with Northrop Grumman, the major sponsor of the prize, UNSW Canberra presented the students with $250 along with the award, which is now in its second year.

The prize-winners will also be eligible for a $5000 undergraduate scholarship should they choose to enrol in a Bachelor of Engineering degree as a civilian student at UNSW Canberra.

The Maths Prize is aligned with UNSW Canberra’s goal of a 50% female enrolment rate in undergraduate engineering degrees.

The award ceremony was held on the eve of International Women’s Day.

UNSW Canberra Senior Lecturer Bianca Capra spoke at the ceremony. Dr Capra is a mechanical and aerospace engineer who hopes to inspire the future generation of women and girls in STEM.

“Maths is an amazing and beautiful subject that allows us to describe nature, find solutions to problems and advance society,” Dr Capra said.

“It’s also the foundation for many STEM-based careers, so recognising our young female mathematicians will help drive that ongoing passion for STEM subjects at critical points in their education.

“We are entering the golden age of women in STEM. We have always been here but our profiles and presence are becoming noticed, and there are more dedicated female networks to support and mentor our young women into these fields.” 

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Students from the following schools received awards:

Alfred Deakin High

Amaroo School

Belconnen High

Brindabella Christian College

Burgmann Anglican College

Calwell High

Campbell High

Canberra Girls Grammar School

Canberra Grammar School

Canberra High

Covenant Christian School

Daramalan College

Karabar High School

Lanyon High

Lyneham High

Melba Copland Secondary School

Melrose High

Merici College

Namadgi School

Orana Steiner School

Queanbeyan High School

Radford College

St Clare’s College

St Francis Xavier College

St John Paul II College

St Mary Mackillop College

Telopea Park School

Trinity Christian College

Kingsford Smith School

University of Canberra High School