By Andrew Nardi
FROM the wonders of 3D printing to mechanical art, kids will have the chance to invent scientific wonders these coming school holidays at Questacon Technology Learning Centre in Deakin.
The team at the centre believes that their school holiday workshops will provide kids with a fun environment to build on their problem-solving skills, while fostering creative thinking.
“We’re trying to get kids to extend their creativity and to encompass all of the materials that they’ve got access to, from glitter, to balloons, to wood and paper cups”, says Aidan Muirhead, facilitator of the QTLC maker team.
Among the more complex creations, kids will be provided with materials to produce a Rube Goldberg machine, an activity in chain reactions. Think dominos knocking over, which activate a small robot, which then rolls a ball down a ramp, which then puts out a candle’s flame.
“It’s an idea to create an incredibly complicated contraption to complete a simple task, and we often end up with contraptions all around the room”, Aidan said as she demonstrated the outcome of a multi-stage Rube Goldberg, a small robot turning on a 3D printer.
Aidan says the QTLC team will be helping kids along, and providing helpful feedback to refine their ideas and creations.
“It’s completely up to the kids. We just say, ‘you can use any materials we provide’. If they’re unfamiliar with drills or saws, we’re here to give them those skills, so they can keep working”, she says.
The school holiday workshops will run in half-day, “byte-sized” workshops from October 1 to 4, and in a four-day intensive workshop beginning on October 8. They are aimed at young people aged 10 to 15, however parents are more than welcome to join in.
The Questacon Technology Learning Centre is located in Deakin. Bookings and information from 1800 889995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.