Questacon is delighted to announce its new partnership with The Ian Potter Foundation to engage young Australians with science, technology and innovation. On Wednesday 29 October, Prime Minister Tony Abbott officially renamed Questacon’s Deakin facility as The Ian Potter Foundation Technology Learning Centre in recognition of the partnership.
The Foundation has provided a $7.8 million grant to Questacon for significant new initiatives that will provide young people across Australia with new opportunities to engage with technology through interactive learning experiences. The grant is the Foundation’s largest in the areas of science and education in its 50-year history, and the largest made outside of Victoria.
The Ian Potter Foundation Technology Learning Centre will offer a range of onsite interactive experiences for students and the public to engage with technology and innovation. It will also be the hub for a new national technology and innovation education initiative, the Questacon Smart Skills Initiative. Activities will be delivered locally and nationally through touring workshops, regional partnerships and digital communications technology.
The opening ceremony featured a ribbon cutting with a difference, where two students from Saints Peter and Paul’s School assisted the Prime Minister to set off a chain-reaction (or Rube-Goldberg) machine. The ribbon cutting set a ball run in motion, where various levers and pulleys and other contraptions eventually led to the revealing of the official opening plaque. The Prime Minister concluded his visit by chatting to students from the school who had been participating in a workshop using tablets and simple materials to design, build and test different bridge designs. This is one of the workshops to be offered under the Questacon Smart Skills Initiative.
Janet Hirst, CEO, The Ian Potter Foundation said, “This grant reflects the importance of this project for Australia and the investment required to transition to the technology-focused, innovative, knowledge-based economy that is vital for our future.”