South-west school children to learn from others in STEAM session

Innovators and inventors will showcase everything from robots to home-made rollercoasters in Warrnambool this week.

High altitude balloons, ways to re-use unwanted clothes, sphero soccer, 3D printing, holograms, interactive mannequins, RJ Cosplay, electrical wiring demonstrations will be on display when South West TAFE hosts the Maker Fest on Friday and Saturday.

Children from 11 south-west schools will showcase 28 displays at the Maker Fest, along with Deakin University, Wannon Water and other industry and arts groups.

Learning: Koroit and District Primary School students work on their straw roller coasters ahead of the Maker Fest in Warrnambool on Friday and Saturday. Picture: Morgan Hancock

Learning: Koroit and District Primary School students work on their straw roller coasters ahead of the Maker Fest in Warrnambool on Friday and Saturday. Picture: Morgan Hancock

The Maker Fest gives students, local industry and artists a place to present their science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) activities and inventions.

Koroit and District Primary School students will demonstrate how straws can be used to make rollercoasters, with ping pong balls as the carriages.

Teacher Melanie Vesey said the rollercoasters showed that children could have a good STEAM experience from simple activities.

“The rollercoaster is all about engineering, mathematics and physics, and it’s great that children can have fun while learning about these concepts,” Mrs Vesey said.

“The Maker Fest will be an excellent opportunity for students, teachers and the broader community to show what they are achieving while learning what others are doing in the field.”

Event co-ordinator Robin Smith said the activities would demonstrate cutting edge use of technology.

“It has created a lot of interest, especially from schools,” Mr Smith said. “We have a really good range of activities and demonstrations and it can only grow from here.”

In addition to 11 participating schools, students from eight schools will attend to view the innovations.

Mr Smith said Maker Fests were becoming a global phenomenon to showcase amazing local do-it-yourself work and to highlight how STEAM is being aligned to jobs of the future.

The Maker Fest is a collaboration between South West TAFE and Woolsthorpe and Woodford primary schools and Brauer College and is supported by Department of Education.

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