My name is Jessica Dennien. I am a wife, mother and engineer, a "mumgineer". I work with individuals and employers to provide insights on how balance can be achieved within the workplace whilst ensuring an efficient, engaged workforce.

A common concern heard among the STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, Maths) community is the difficulty in getting girls and women engaged in STEAM subjects and pursuing STEAM careers. But a conversation not as often had is the difficulty retaining women in STEAM careers.

Retaining women in these careers can be difficult particularly when they decide to start a family. Balancing a demanding STEAM career with family life can be difficult when the male dominated system expects mothers to adapt to it rather than updating the system to allow flexibility and work with ALL parents who want to achieve a better work / life balance.

Losing this talent is not only detrimental to the women who lose engagement in the workforce, but also to businesses that experience significant talent loss. This should be concerning to employers who are experiencing these types of losses as they are losing an investment when talent and IP leave their business.

Engaging children in STEAM

Child with plant
My daughter learning about different leaves

Why should I engage my children in STEAM?

Children that disengage with Science Technology Engineering Arts and Maths subjects, particularly girls, disengage before they finish primary school.  There is some research that suggests that incorporating STEAM activities into early learning can help to sustain STEAM engagement through primary school and into high school.

There are some fantastic organizations that provide opportunities for girls in high school to engage in STEAM subjects. Although there is some good participation, it is still a minority of girls getting involved. And no wonder, we are trying to engage students that have already disengaged.

My two-year-old daughter goes to daycare and while they have some great activities that engage children in STEAM, a lot of children don’t go to daycare, so the onus is on us as parents to spark that love for STEAM subjects in early childhood.

75% of Australia's fastest growing occupations require skills in STEAM, so encouraging children, particularly girls, to engage in STEAM subjects early is imperative.

How can I engage my children in STEAM?

STEAM principals are all around us and it really takes very little effort to engage young children in STEAM. All we really need to do is point out the STEAM around us.

Listen to this episode of the Mumgineer Podcast where early childhood educator, Kate Smit, shares her tips on learning dispositions to engage children in STEAM.


Bush Walking or nature walking

Frog Hunting or looking for any outdoor creatures

Sand Castles

Building a Vege Patch - Big or small

Play Dough