Science has for too long been considered a male preserve, despite a line of brilliant women from Hypatia of Alexandria to Donna Strickland - but the times, they are a-changin'.
Next week, 80 young Armidale scientists will study sheep, investigate insects, and, of course, dissect brains.
And they're all girls.
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The students - in Years 7 and 8 at Armidale Secondary College, PLC Armidale, and the Armidale School - will take part in the Girls' Day, on Wednesday.
This worldwide science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) event aims to show girls that science is a career they can pursue.
The day started in Germany in 2000, and is run in this country by the Goethe-Institut Australien, the German cultural association.
Half the girls will learn about field ecology and lab work at the University of New England, under biologists Dr Deborah Bower and Dr Mary McMillan.
The other half will learn about agricultural research and data analysis at CSIRO Agriculture and Food, under Dr Sonja Dominik, quantitative geneticist and ninja.
"The day is supposed to be fun; it's suppose to show how interactive science can be, and how fun exploring, asking questions, and discovering things can be," Dr Bower said.
Dr Bower and Dr Dominik are both Superstars of STEM, female scientific role models for young women and girls, under Science & Technology Australia, the nation's peak body in science and technology.
"Women in STEM are still underrepresented," Dr Dominik said. "Encouraging more young women is very important."
It's still rare to see women professors, as Dr Bower pointed out last year - but she's confident we can achieve gender equality by the end of the century, particularly thanks to days like this.
"Gender should be no barrier to science," Dr Bower said. "We shouldn't even be talking about women in science, because it should be completely gender balanced - all the genders, including non-binary genders."
At UNE, Dr Bower will take the girls into the aquatic lab to look at bugs collected in local wetlands, farm dams, and the river. The students will examine invertebrates under microscopes, and see the teeming life in a drop of water. Dr McMillan will show them how to carve up cerebella.
They will also talk to a panel of five female scientists: poultry expert Isabel Ruhnke, statistician Brenda Vo, biomedic Gal Winter, psychologist Navjot Bhullar, and aquatic ecologist Iris Tsoi.
Dr Bower hopes the girls will start to associate scientists with women. "You can't be what you can't see," she said. "Girls need to see women scientists doing science. They'll meet different types of female scientists, from different backgrounds. They'll see that it's possible to do it."
At CSIRO, Dr Dominik will talk to the girls about the projects run on-site, including Merino Lifetime Productivity. This nationwide project run by Australian Wool Innovation, a woolgrowers' not-for-profit company, studies production and reproduction in sheep over their lifetime. The girls will see scientists sort sheep into sire groups, and score wool.
Simulated activities will teach the girls the technical side of science: recording and measuring data, and interpreting the results.
They will also film interviews with female scientists, technical staff, and students, with prizes for the best interview. About half the staff are women - unusual in this industry.
"We're lucky at CSIRO," Dr Dominik said. "It'll be great for young females to see another female who has taken a career in science."
And science, Dr Bower believes, is the best job in the world. "It gives you an amazing life. We have a lot of freedom to discover, and to follow our passions, our hearts, and the things that interest us," she said. "It's not just sitting in a room reading books!"
Her career as a conservation biologist has taken her to Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, and, most recently, Antarctica. She has been into the Amazon rainforest with masters students to search for snakes, and into the most remote parts of Jamaica with iguana experts.
"You're immediately with the locals, seeing pockets of land you would never see as a tourist. You have this incredible experience you can't get in any other way."
Dr Dominik has been with CSIRO Agriculture and Food for 16 years, designing breeding programs for livestock and aquaculture species, improving methane emission in sheep or bovine immune systems. Agriculture, she said, is applied science - not as abstract as math, physics, or chemistry.
She enjoys being curious and solving problems everyday, and thrives on the variety. "Not just being in the lab or on the computer, but interacting with other scientists and industry people - in my case, farmers - is a very rewarding part of the job."
Mentoring and enabling young people - Honours and PhD students, or summer vacation scholars - is satisfying. "It has been fantastic to see these young, intelligent, enthusiastic people find their way in an area that interests them. And they're all females. Not by choice; it just happened."