Participants in the Spark Engineering Camp on top of Brisbane's Story Bridge
Participants in the Spark Engineering Camp on top of Brisbane's Story Bridge
13 July 2011

A group of talented and socially aware engineering students from The University of Queensland and members from Youth Without Borders showed their commitment to the community recently at the Spark Engineering Camp, held on July 4-8.

The camp is an initiative of Youth Without Borders and allows high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds to experience university life and learn about engineering as a profession.

Youth Without Borders President and fourth year Mechanical Engineering student at UQ, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, said the Spark Engineering Camp was intended to show high school students where an engineering degree can lead to.

“The camp is for those students who wouldn’t usually get a chance to attend this type of program, or those who have the potential to come to university and study engineering but haven’t considered it as an option,” she said.

In the five-day camp, hosted by UQ and Youth Without Borders, students took part in forum discussions, networked with UQ engineering graduates and current students, and participated in ‘field’ visits such as a trip to Dreamworld and a Story Bridge climb.

“The camp has succeeded far beyond my expectations; the sponsorship, the students who attended and their level of engagement with the program, and the personal growth for all involved has been truly uplifting,” said Ms Abdel-Magied.

“Every single one of the students stated in their feedback forms that the camp had encouraged them to pursue studies in engineering, something that wasn’t the case at the beginning of the camp,” she said.

“To have students from all walks of life considering a university option due to Spark is a heart warming result indeed. For many, this would make them the first in their families to go to university.”

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, Professor Graham Schaffer said UQ was a proud to partner of Youth Without Borders.

“We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the Spark Engineering Camp, and are proud to partner with Youth Without Borders to offer this program, which promotes equity by providing these high school students with an opportunity to experience university life that they would otherwise not have,” he said.

Media: Yassmin Abdel-Magied ( or Madelene Flanagan (, 3365 8525)