Unleashing creativity at the Questacon Invention Convention in Hobart

Two local Hobart students and a Questacon presenter at the Questacon Invention Convention in April 2021

Twenty-one enthusiastic young innovators from Tasmania unleashed their ideas and creativity at the Questacon Invention Convention in Hobart last month. 

The Invention Convention in Hobart (13-15 April) was the first in-person Invention Convention in over 12 months, kicking off an exciting year of events across Australia, with Invention Conventions planned for Darwin in July, and Rockhampton in September 2021.

Participants explored all aspects of innovation including enterprise skills needed for the future, like communication, problem solving, creative thinking and team work. To help spark ideas, they were treated to two fantastic presentations from our mentors, Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas and Dr Millie Rooney.

Jess is an Oceans and Atmosphere researcher at CSIRO, co-founder of the Homeward Bound Project and was also the 2020 Tasmanian Australian of the Year. Jess wowed us with her inspirational story and amazing footage from Antarctica.

Millie spoke to the participants about the importance of believing in yourself and communicating your passions in the pursuit of achieving your goals. Millie shared her experience as coordinator for Australia ReMADE; an independent non-profit leadership network who promote a vision of the country we’re aiming for and the change needed to create it. She explained the importance of telling your story and sharing your vision in order to effect the change you desire to make.

After upskilling in basic tools and less-basic technologies (app design, Lego bots, advanced electronics and microbits), the participants worked hard to produce prototypes that contributed to solving real-world problems that mattered to them. After putting the finishing touches on their creations, they proudly presented their work to their family, peers and local community stakeholders during the final showcase with great success! Their prototypes ranged from protective gear for police dogs, to fidget toys to keep astronauts happy and healthy, to accessible clotheslines for users of wheelchairs.

Invention Convention Coordinator, Leisha Duncan said, “The young people joining us have a range of interests in innovation; whether they are always keeping up with the latest tech, love building things and coming up with new ideas, or have a passion for science or engineering at school.”

Check out this video to learn more. 

The team stuck around in Tassie a little longer to support the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) by delivering two Rockets workshops for their Lift Off! Children’s Festival. They had some fun using coloured powder in the rocket rigs to create eye-catching science in the city centre!

Throughout 2021 Questacon’s national touring programs will collaborate with local organisations and Inspiring Australia to increase the number of STEM engagement activities in Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Central Queensland. You can find more information about Questacon’s in-school activities for students, professional learning workshops for educators and community events for families at our website.

Find out more about the Questacon Invention Conventions and how to apply. Applications for the Invention Convention in Darwin from 13-15 July 2021 close on 28 June.