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Local students go galactic with Questacon workshops!

By Questacon Media 15 Aug 2022

Two students in blue jackets work together to build a prototype for their Sphero (a round ball-like robot)

Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre is coming to the Western Downs this National Science Week. We will be bringing our exciting Galactic Clean-up workshops to schools and libraries, kicking off at Bell State School today.

These hands-on STEM workshops will be hosted by primary schools in The Gums, Tara, Wandoan, and Jandowae between 16 and 19 August, finishing with a public event at the Western Downs Regional Council Main Office in Dalby on Saturday 20 August.

The Galactic Clean-up workshops will challenge students to combine technology with everyday materials, and explore solutions to challenges in the space industry. Students will build prototypes and test their creations using a giant pool of ‘space debris’.

Councillor Kaye Maguire, Council Spokesperson for Community and Cultural Development said captivating the region's youth with the wonders and opportunities of STEM was critical to raising the region's next generation of inventors and scientific thinkers.

‘The Western Downs has a long history of scientific invention, from historic agricultural innovations like the Condamine Bell to the Cactoblastis moth, to our emerging renewable energy sector which will need the minds of the next generation to continue to grow,’ she said.

‘This is a fantastic opportunity for our region's youngest minds to explore the possibilities of STEM in their community.’

The workshops are being delivered alongside staff from the Western Downs Libraries. Questacon has been working closely with the libraries since 2021 to encourage community engagement with STEM and to increase the capacity of local staff to implement STEM engagement activities.

Jared Wilkins, Questacon’s Senior Manager, National Programs, said that ‘Questacon is working with local organisations in regional and rural communities to build awareness of the importance of STEM skills and to increase access to STEM activities for all Australians.’

‘Community STEM activities are invaluable in supporting cross-generational learning and enabling adults and children alike to try new experiences and be inspired.’

These engagements in the Western Downs and Central Queensland are delivered by Questacon with Supporting Partner Shell Australia, as part of a partnership to inspire a passion for STEM in young people, and to increase community engagement with science and technology experiences.

The workshops complete a series of activities in the Western Downs, including pop-up science exhibitions at the Dalby and Chinchilla Shows, the Tara Festival of Culture & Camel Races, and the World Science Festival Queensland in Chinchilla. Questacon has also delivered STEM workshops for high school students, and professional development workshops for teachers across the Western Downs.

To attend the free Galactic Clean-up workshop in Dalby Library on 20 August, please visit Western Downs Libraries for booking information.

About the partnership

Shell is Questacon’s longest standing corporate partner, having worked together for 36 years to deliver inspirational and engaging hands-on programs across regional and remote Australia.

Media contact

For further information, please contact the Questacon Communications Team at 0468 516 411 or