By Dr Lindy Orwin
Over 30 people gathered at the first meeting to establish the Gympie Regional STEM Hub and many others expressed their interest. STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. An initiative of Inspiring Australia Queensland, the session was led by the Queensland Manager, Shelley Dunlop.
I acted as convenor as I am a local resident of Rainbow Beach, an active member of the citizen science organization Cooloola CoastCare as well as a remotely-located researcher at the University of Southern Queensland. My research area is in the use remote access technology in STEAM education (= STEM plus the Arts). I also convene the Australian Girls ESTEAMME Collaborative. (ESTEAMME = Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, Maths and Maker Education).
The energy level was high and it was fun to get to know more locals with a passion for STEM. The school participants are creating some awesome, award winning learning opportunities for students. The non-profit organizations are doing some amazing citizen science. The businesses and industry representatives shared opportunities for collaboration and local employment in STEM careers.
The participants expressed interesting ideas for the hub’s future activities including hosting events in person and online, sharing information and resources and finding STEM role models for our youth.
Thanks must go to Gympie Regional Council Community Development who provided us with access to the Gympie Civic Centre Fossickers Room to hold our meeting. What a great venue and such friendly, helpful staff!
Other STEM Hubs in Queensland are the Darling Downs South West STEM Hub and Townsville STEM Hub.
Next meeting 1.00pm – 3.00pm, 21 March 2017, Gympie Civic Centre Fossicker Room.