Indigenous teens explore STEM activities during camp

26 July 2022

From exploring mangroves and rocky shores to plankton studies and virtual reality experiences' a group of Indigenous students from the Gladstone region engaged in a cross-section of science' technology' engineering and maths (STEM) activities during the third annual Yallarm STEM Camp' sponsored by Monadelphous and coordinated by CQUniversity.

The four-day Yallarm Camp hosted by the Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre was attended by 18 enthusiastic year eight students from the Gladstone region' all keen to dip their toes into raft making' shelter building' exploring CQUniversity's STEM Hub and creative arts practice.

CQUniversity's Student Engagement Coordinator Wes Heberlein said all of the activities related to a central inquiry throughout the Camp.

"Students were introduced to a fictional character 'Dr Karl' who challenged students to investigate a variety of ecosystems' decipher the 'cryptic clues' and reveal his secret organism.

"Each activity provided a clue to assist students discover facts about the organism and the final water bug activity provided opportunity for students to identify the exact species – a water scorpion.

"This narrative provided a purpose for all activities and followed a 'thread' throughout the Camp."

The Yallarm STEM Camp aims to engage interested Indigenous students in a range of STEM activities allowing them to consider areas in STEM as possible career options.

Mr Heberlein said CQUniversity was an advocate for STEM activities in schools and was pleased to offer the STEM Hub at CQUniversity Gladstone Marina campus.

Monadelphous Manager – Gladstone Operations Cameron Hausler said it was great to be able to support the camp again and give students access to an immersive STEM learning experience and help build their skills and knowledge.