IT Services at the University of Tasmania has been operating a significant community engagement program for the past three years. They have run an extensive series of events including Uhack, Upitch, Women in Technology, Tech for Girls and Copernicus Talks. All have resulted in broad media coverage for the University and have achieved an uplift in student outcomes.
The Uhack event resulted in four potential start-ups. Upitch has landed a group of three medical students and an engineering student $10k in prize money and a chance to pitch for $1m in business support. Both events are aimed at creating innovative start-up business opportunities for students and the community. So far, their success is highly regarded within the University and State.
Complementing these events, IT Services runs Women in Technology and Tech For Girls. The latter of these events saw girls from three Hobart schools attend campus to workshop and experience the latest technology like augmented reality, drones, robotics and 3D printing. Two-thirds of the girls expressed an ambition to study in STEM events at the University of Tasmania. IT Services staff also delivered TED-type talks to students, staff and the broader community, across multiple sessions state-wide. The presentations highlight future technology and are designed to pique interest and start conversations. One talk resulted in the School of Design being a national leader in adopting augmented reality into the curriculum. They obtained 24 headsets and teach architecture and design students in 3D environments.