Project X At NZ International Science Festival Dunedin 2018
Within hours of the booking website opening, Project X was fully subscribed with young people from across the city and visitors booked in. As two firsts for Project X, this was an event outside schools and secondly organised solely by the IET with three IET member supervisors and three others from local businesses Delta and Downer.
The parents dropping off children at the Dunedin Central Library venue were really excited about the event – real hand-on engineering and the enjoyment of completing a fantastic sound and lights model Christmas tree were the expectations together with a little trepidation. Would their children be able to complete the task?
The children were magnificent, totally engaged during the day and so talented. Highlights were how they quickly started to help one another with tasks such as identifying and sizing components and their experimenting with trying different software programming techniques without inhibition. The very low noise level during the day was a real measure of how engaged the children were. This was STEM in action and at the end of the day everyone had a working model to show for it.
It was very humbling for the supervisors to hear the “thank you” messages from the children and their parents. Several visitors were enthralled with the activities and these included the library staff and senior managers from Delta, who are considering contributing further to Project X delivery.
Thanks as always to Frank Lewis for championing Project X, Derek, Chris and Joe from the IET, library manager Kay and Rodney and Matthew from Delta.
(By Joe Connolly, Chairman of the South Island Network)
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