PHOTO: Dan Reid: MusicTour
Nervo - the electronic dance music duo formed of Melbourne-born twin sisters Miriam and Olivia Nervo - is making waves. Their latest track, People Grinnin', is more than just a catchy tune - it was made in cooperation with the Made By Me initiative, a national collaboration across eight Australian universities which aims to challenge the stereotypes which plague the engineering industry and encourage more young people, especially women, to become engineers.
Both sisters trained as sound engineers before turning to a career in music. They have produced songs for Kylie Minogue, Ke$ha and Miley Cyrus, and co-wrote Grammy-nominated 'When Love Takes Over' with David Guetta. As their music-making took off, the girls recalled the low percentage of women in their engineering
The video begins by stating that 'everything in the following music video was made by an engineer': an attempt to show how pervasive engineering is in our daily lives, and that it includes and informs almost all aspects of life. The video goes on to include links for more information at strategic points: towards the beginning, a small banner proclaims 'Your World: Made By Engineers': clicking on it opens a side menu which offers articles about the myriad and intensely varied things made by engineers. At one point the camera focuses on the girls' shoes, while another banner asks 'Who Helped Make Your Shoes?' - this link explains that even fashion has a huge helping hand from engineering.
There have been a number of initiatives aimed at encouraging more children, and particularly girls, to study engineering and related disciplines, including the '#iLookLikeAnEngineer' social campaign with aimed to dispel stereotypes about who could be an engineer; code.org and Michelle Sun's First Code Academy, which teach children to code, as well as a program by the popular game Minecraft which incorporates gameplay into learning to code, and countless other initiatives to teach people coding skills; organisations such as SEMTA and SATRO work tirelessly to inspire kids into engineering. The problem is not fixed, but at least we're aware of it, and that's the first, and often hardest, hurdle.
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