Posted by Hayley Krippner & Pallavi Samie on Oct 02, 2017
Sponsored by us, Sacred Heart students Hayley Krippner and Pallavi Sami, gave us personal accounts of their Innovative Young Minds (IYM) experience.... 
Hayley Krippner:
I am incredibly honoured to have been selected and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Eastern Hutt to participate in the 2017 Innovative Young Minds programme. It is because of them that I was exposed to the vast variety of careers in STEAMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Manufacturing) and able to speak with such inspiring, strong and independent women in the industry who are deeply passionate about what they do. What was so great about this programme was that I had the opportunity to spend a whole week amongst like-minded young women who enjoy STEAMM as much as myself. I have gained heaps of memories that I will forever look back fondly on and made many friends for life.
What stands out most about this programme were the diverse activities I did. We visited several businesses and tertiary education institutes. There was something for everyone; from learning about how fire alarms are designed and manufactured at Pertronics Industries to designing and building a bus stop prototype at Massey University’s College of Creative Arts to learning about the process of making and manufacturing paint at Resene. I would have to say that my favourite activities were going to Aviat Networks, Victoria University’s Kelburn campus and Massey University. It was very interesting to learn about data encryption and programming at Aviat Networks and how they are used in today’s world. Speaking with post-graduates about their spintronic research with rare-earth nitrides at Victoria University was awesome. I was also absolutely fascinated by the experiments that we witnessed there, especially that of magnetic levitation with superconductors using liquid nitrogen. Challenging my creative side at Massey University was extremely enjoyable and rewarding.
The panel discussions enlightened me on the importance of having a career doing what you love and how following your heart will lead to a satisfying life. What they had to say was extremely moving and I am walking away profoundly inspired. I especially enjoyed hearing Kate McGrath and Amanda Santos’s journeys and how they overcame barriers to reach their goals.
The networking after the reception at Parliament was extremely valuable as it developed my social skills. We could talk with the guests from the businesses we visited and ask our burning questions about their careers in STEAMM. It was a great way of getting in touch with organisations and receiving more information about WelTec, Victoria University, Massey University and The Learning Connexion from a personal perspective. 
IYM has had a huge impact on my future and myself as a person. I hadn't known exactly what I wanted to study at university or which university I would study at. I knew that I wanted to study something interlinking physics, IT and design but wasn't sure what exactly. I had contemplated computer science and engineering but only knew a little about each. This programme has given me insight into the many fields that I could go into and I now know of several that I would enjoy. It has emphasised my love for understanding how and why things work as well as problem-solving, logical thinking and creativity. Resultantly, I am strongly considering software engineering but would love to be able to incorporate design into it.
The overall week has left me with my goals at the front of my mind. Now knowing what I must do to achieve my dreams, I am fuelled with a fiery desire to achieve them, more so than ever. I am all powered up, ready to push through the hardships, determined and ready to work hard as I know that it will pay off.
Pallavi Sami:
Innovative Young Minds has been an incredible experience.  The whole week was filled trips and games as we explored the different fields in science and technology. I’m so happy that I got selected and was provided with this opportunity. It helped shape an idea of what the next steps can be after high school. I know have an idea of what to expect when coming into university and stepping into a career. We got exposed to a world of science and technology where women are welcomed. It empowers you as young women to be yourself and follow your dreams.
We got to go to many learning institutes like Massey University, the learning connexion and Victoria University. I really enjoyed this as it opened my eyes to all the different possibilities that I didn’t even realise existed. Victoria university ended up being my favourite part of the programme. This was great as I was already considering going there before attending the programme. To go there before my last year of high school is an opportunity I’ll forever be grateful for. This is because it assured me that I’m making the right decision and plan.
The most impactful parts of this programme has been the panel discussions throughout the week and the networking we go to do at Parliament. This is because it gave me a chance to ask all the burning questions that had been lying at the back of my brain. I got the chance to learn more about the field I want to go in and get clear of any uncertainties. I felt really inspired while listening to the journeys of so many successful women. The main thing I learnt from all these women is that no matter how many bumps there are on the road there will always be a way to overcome them and reach the final destination.
The most valuable thing I received from this whole thing would be the friendships I made. I met so many amazing and inspiring people. I’m happy to say that I’m still in contact with them till this date, I can see them changing the world with their ideas already.