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STEM made fun at space workshop

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Lillian, Amelie, Mikaylah, Lilly and Alexander at the CQUniversity Young Engineers space workshop.

CQUniversity Young Engineers held a two-day STEM space workshop for children in the Bundaberg Region this week.

CQUniversity’s Pavle Jeric said it aimed to show children the range of careers available in science, technology, engineering, and maths.

“There’s a lot of preconceptions about what working as a scientist really means,” he said.

“It conjures images of a person in a white coat working in a chemistry lab, but there’s actually a huge variety.”

Over the two-day program, primary school children used Lego to build replicas of some iconic space exploration machines.

“Some of the younger children are building a kind of motorised rover that we currently use on the surface of Mars. 

“So, we build them using Lego and they motorise them so they can move along a surface.

“Older kids did something similar, but they added a bit of programming and coding to give it a greater range of functionality.”

The children also built rockets and launchers to show the diversity of space exploration careers available, he said.

“Children do learn a lot through fun, and this is one way to break those preconceptions and open their minds to some of the possibilities in that area.”

Pavle said bringing STEM education to regional Queensland was a priority for Young Engineers and CQUniversity.

“We believe that in our regions in particular we will need kids who want to pursue careers in STEM, because we have a range of industries and a range of activities in regional Queensland like automated farming and smarter mining. 

“Anything we do in this region will increasingly be demanding STEM careers and who better to get started on it than our local kids.”

Pavle said the response to the workshops has been fantastic and the children’s creativity always impresses the instructors.

“It is amazing how you can take a topic that on the surface may seem like a school-based activity, like a science class, then throw in a lot of fun and it really makes it engaging.”

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