CQUni helps 400 visitors relate to STEM and Innovation in Gladstone

Published:23 April 2018

TOP: Dr Linda Pfeiffer (centre) with Tech Girls Movement Founder Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen and Surfing Scientist Ruben Meerman.

Around 400 people recently converged on the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre for a major Glad-STEM and Innovation Expo, supported by CQUniversity.

Education academic Dr Linda Pfeiffer was a key supporter of the event, which offered many hands-on experiences, including building and dismantling robots, coding, drones, Virtual Reality, and water testing with probes.

Dr Pfeiffer worked alongside event coordinator Vernetta Perrett (Gladstone Regional Council) and the CQ STEM Hub* network to bring together Tech Girls Movement Founder Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen, The Surfing Scientist Ruben Meerman and a range of local organisations to showcase a variety of STEM and innovative experiences.

"The GECC was abuzz with science shows, 3D printing and an electric trike," Dr Pfeiffer says.

"Participants could be seen sitting on the floor with robots of all shapes and sizes, children were playing with giant puzzles, and families enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of exploration.

"It was great to see involvement from so many community organisations including Queensland Aerial, Gladstone Ports Corporation, Santos, Gladstone Libraries, Tech Girls Movement, Ruben the Surfing Scientist, and CQUniversity.

"It was also amazing to see so many young people and teachers who gave up their Saturday, including Tech Girls teams, Chanel College, Mount Larcom State School, Boyne Island State School, Clinton State School and Central State School.

"The Glad-STEM Expo was all about building confidence and enthusiasm for science and helping make the connection between what we learn in the classroom and real-life applications."

Dr Pfeiffer said work on a STEM Central facility at CQUniversity Gladstone would be able to start later this year, thanks to funding from Australia Pacific LNG.

She said the STEM-specific rooms would be used to train and inspire teachers, students and the community.

* CQ STEM Hub, which funded Ruben for this event, is a network of people and local organisations funded by Inspiring Australia.