Girls at Canberra High School are streets ahead in science, technology, engineering and maths thanks to national competitions and grants.
But on the United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science, women scientists are still facing setbacks in their careers which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
Year 9 student Emily Hyde won a $2000 grant to buy a 3D printer for the school's new girls' STEM club.
"I'm really interested in engineering... which is why I think getting a 3D printer be really good for the STEM club and learning about all of these different things you can do with technology and then turning it into something that you can hold," she said.
Emily Chalmers, also in year 9, is the first student from the school to have a go at the RoboCup challenge, a national competition where students must program a robot to follow a course and navigate obstacles.
She said more and more girls were becoming interested in programming.
"There's still a way for us to go, but it's definitely becoming more even which I really like because of these different grants and programs."
Meanwhile the F1 in Schools team is gearing up to compete in the national competition in April, even meeting up in the summer holidays to refine their entry.
The competitors need to design and create a small car to be propelled by a carbon dioxide cartridge in a time trial against other teams. They must also devise a marketing strategy and assemble portfolios to showcase their work.
Team manager Alison Kennelly said while they were seriously considering a career in STEM, there were still barriers for women.
"We think that in terms of school there's a lot of really great opportunities for girls in STEM, there's all kinds of clubs and things, but then as you get into more professional environments that road to opportunities is a lot more limited, so we're trying to work on expanding that a bit more."
This rings true for Professor Dianne Gleeson, who is the associate dean of the research faculty of science and technology at the University of Canberra.
The wildlife geneticist was always curious about understanding the world around her but she didn't realise the barriers for women in science until she started pursuing it as a career.
"It wasn't until I got into the workforce that I experienced more gender bias. I felt my voice wasn't heard as equally as men," she said.
"I struggled in early stages in my career to find appropriate role models."
Professor Gleeson said when COVID-19 hit women scientists were disproportionately affected as the switch to working from home hampered their research.
A large number of women scientists also lost work when their casual and sessional contracts weren't renewed as universities slashed their budgets.
Professor Gleeson said organisations still had a long way to go in boosting female representation but highlighting women role models was a good start.
"We can do better and we can celebrate more what women are doing in science."