Innovation Factory opens in South Australia inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers

A family look at an a series of spinning mirrors

Sometimes the simplest ideas result in the most ingenious inventions – and that’s the premise behind Questacon – The National Technology and Science Centre’s travelling exhibition, which opens at the University of South Australia today.

Supported by Questacon’s Major Partner Raytheon, the Innovation Factory—Invent and Play exhibition highlights simple, everyday machines at home, school, work or play, challenging the idea that high-tech electronics are the most important technologies in our lives.

Innovation Factory comprises 18 hands-on exhibits which encourage visitors to experiment with simple machines—gears, cams, levers, pulleys, pneumatics, wheels or electric circuits—to discover how simple machines are used to create ingenious inventions.

Visitors can use simple machines to generate an optical illusion, race a horse and a camel or play an electronic version of the timeless game rock, paper, scissors.

Questacon Director Professor Graham Durant said Questacon is pleased to be partnering with UniSA to deliver this exhibition which celebrates a broad range of inventions, from the quirky to the very simple.

“Innovation Factory is designed to take visitors back to the basics of technology and experience whimsical, open-ended lessons about the power and advantage of simple machines,” Professor Durant said.

The Innovation Factory exhibition also showcases Australian inventors and the process of designing and refining an idea before achieving success.

Raytheon Australia Managing Director Michael Ward said, “Innovation Factory tells the story of systems integration to an entirely new audience and captures Raytheon’s spirit of innovation. I am, therefore, delighted that we have partnered with The National Science and Technology Centre and the University of South Australia to bring this exhibition to Adelaide, home to 350 Raytheon employees who form the core of Australia’s largest combat systems integration workforce.”

Innovation Factory has strong links to the Australian National Science Curriculum and aims to teach children how basic tools can be used to create machinery by exploring machines to discover how, with a little innovation and creativity, they can be used to make inventions.

“This is the first interactive science exhibition the University has hosted at our City West campus but when our new Science, Creativity and Education (SciCEd) gallery is completed, we will be hosting regular exhibitions that foster public engagement with science and innovation,” Professor David Lloyd, Vice Chancellor and President of UniSA said.

“This exhibition promotes the beauty and power of simple, effective technologies.”

Innovation Factory runs from 18 December 2015 to 17 February 2016 at the UniSA City West campus, in Adelaide. Entry to the exhibition is free.

Media contact: Department of Industry, Innovation and Science 02 6213 6308 or media@industry.gov.au