National science and technology centre, Questacon, and Samsung Electronics Australia have partnered to support Australia’s future inventors, technologists and entrepreneurs.
The three-year technology partnership will see Samsung technology used to provide STEM-themed learning opportunities for young people via the Questacon Smart Skills in-school programme for students and Questacon Smart Skills for teacher workshops.
This will give participating students around Australia the chance to learn how use smartphones and tablets to innovate, design and experiment.
Smart Skills is Questacon’s newest national touring programme. It delivers interactive, in-school workshops in regional and metropolitan areas. Workshops expose students to the process of innovation using the steps of designing, prototyping, and testing, using Samsung technology products.
Questacon director of science and learning, Stuart Kohlhagen, said the programme will open doors to new learning and experiences as most people only use a fraction of the capability of the technology they’re holding in their hands because they don’t realise the power of these everyday tools.
“The Questacon Smart Skills programme will show young students how to unlock the potential of their smartphones or tablets to design, prototype, control and test model cars, rockets and bridges in our workshops.
“It will also show students that, despite today’s emphasis on constant success; failure and applying the lessons learned is an important part of innovation,” he said.
Samsung Electronics Australia vice-president - chief marketing officer, Philip Newton, claimed programmes such as Smart Skills have the potential to inspire life-long interest in technology and encourage young people to consider pursuing a career in that area.
“All young Australians should have access to diverse, quality learning experiences. Samsung’s technology partnership with Questacon will give more young people the opportunity to use technology as a tool for problem solving and creative learning.
“It’s our hope that as a result of this partnership, Samsung and Questacon will help inspire and motivate the next generation of Australian technology creators,” Newton mentioned.
Kohlhagen said while involving students in the workshops was important, workshops showing teachers how to incorporate technology into their teaching using the Smart Skills programme concepts was even more important.
“Teachers can multiply the benefits of the learning opportunities because they will be able to take the concepts away to run their own programmes encouraging their current and future students to explore the properties of materials and technologies, and to apply this knowledge in new ways.
“This partnership with Samsung is a great example of how the Australian Government and the private sector can work together to reach young people in more areas, and to support teachers to continue these interactive, design-thinking activities inside, and outside, the classroom,” he claimed.