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Young Engineers uncover the building blocks of life

Published:06 October 2021

Gladstone school students immersing themselves in activities during the Young Engineers workshop

Gladstone school students immersing themselves in activities during the Young Engineers workshop

Bright young minds from across regional Queensland spent the last days of their school holidays immersed in fun and engaging challenges, as CQUniversity hosted a series of Young Engineers STEM workshops.

Held at CQUni campuses in Gladstone, Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Mackay, the two-day workshops attracted over 300 school students from Prep to Grade 9.

Each challenge was designed to spark a student’s passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by igniting their creativity and problem-solving skills through the use of LEGO®.

Event organiser CQUniversity Deputy Director of Online Systems and Future Proofing Pavle Jeric said this year’s theme of Amazing challenges that great teams can tackle focused on teamwork and collaboration.

While the technical challenges were stimulating, students also worked on building relationships and working with others, many of whom they had never met,” Mr Jeric said.

“Students leveraged off each other’s strengths, worked collaboratively to assign tasks, and presented their projects as a team.”

By using LEGO® to replicate modern technology, students designed and built viable solutions to real-world issues and needs.

A team of students in Rockhampton transformed a skateboard into a submarine, while a team in Mackay built a motorised Maneki Neko cat model. Students in Bundaberg presented a very impressive model of an intelligent and secure ballot box – ready for 2022s federal election.

During the workshops, students explored the accomplishments of various teams from around the world, including large international teams that put man on the moon and small teams such as the young Australians behind the digital company Canva.

Mr Jeric said the most gratifying part of these workshops was seeing the creativity and skills displayed by young people.

“Automation will have a big role in mining, agriculture, transportation, and construction – to name only a few of our largest industries – and we will need local talent to assist local businesses and to start their own initiatives,” Mr Jeric explained.

“Let’s hope workshops like these can get them inspired and started.”

Mr Jeric said the feedback he received from students’ parents had been extremely positive, with one parent expressing his gratitude for bringing such a unique, educational, and enjoyable program to Bundaberg.