Inspiring science expo to deliver big reactions for Gladstone students, community

04 May 2022

Educators from across the Gladstone region are set to get inspired about citizen science' thanks to CQUniversity Gladstone's 2022 STEM Expo.

The third annual Education Resources and Citizen Science Information Expo is supported by the Australian Government and Inspiring Australia' and will be held at CQUniversity Gladstone Marina Campus on Thursday 5 May from 2pm until 5.30pm.

The free event is open to all teachers' parents and community members interested in engaging with science' technology engineering and maths' and especially citizen science.

As well as showcasing CQU Gladstone's state-of-the-art STEM Central' the expo will feature exhibitors from Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre' CoralWatch' Fitzroy Basin Association' Gladstone Ports Corporation' Gladstone Region Air Quality' Gladstone Regional Library and Tangaroa Blue.

Organiser Maxine Braithwaite said the event was a great opportunity to connect with expert STEM educators and practitioners' and get practical ideas for local projects.

"We'll be showcasing a lot of resources relevant to classrooms and curriculum' but also the many citizen science projects that already exist in our region' and how locals can become involved'" she said.

"The expo also raises awareness of local environmental issues' and how researchers' industry and community organisations are working together to address them."

STEM Central project lead' Dr Linda Pfeiffer said the interactive centre at CQU Gladstone Marina campus had inspired thousands of science enthusiasts since opening in 2018.

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"The highlight have definitely been the diversity of people who use of the facility – from five-year-olds getting their first experience of flying a drone' primary and high school groups from right across the region' to Indigenous elders' and even senior citizens'" Dr Pfeiffer said.

"When we set out to establish STEM Central' we didn't realise it would have such a broad outreach and value for the whole of community.

"But it's not surprising given the concentration of high-tech industries in the region' our access to the Great Barrier Reef from the campus' and the number of community stakeholders passionate about its success."

STEM Central is supported by Australia Pacific LNG.

"STEM Central is designed to switch on excitement about connecting with coding' and robotics' and natural science' and you just see eyes light up when participants realise what they're capable of creating'" Dr Pfeiffer said.