The July school holidays are off to a flying start for a group of 24 students from Virginia Primary School who thoroughly enjoyed their first experience of the Tonsley Innovation District on Tuesday, 11 July. The visit was coordinated through Renewal SA’s Works Program and its sponsorship of the Children’s University.
Believing it’s never too early to spark curiosity and interest in pursuing further education and possibly a career in the STEM fields, the Tonsley experience was designed to stimulate imaginations and create wonder and excitement. The day’s itinerary delivered the perfect blend of information, interaction – and of course, the chance to learn about robotics!
Philipp Dautel, Stakeholder Relationship Manager at Renewal SA, led a fact-finding walking tour, sharing the Tonsley story from its former days as a car manufacturing plant to its vibrant present as a community of innovative businesses, start-ups, academic institutions, inspired students, engaged residents, and thriving retailers. Together, they share knowledge and resources, accelerate new ideas and technology and are poised to find solutions to some of the global challenges that will be faced by this generation.
“This is the fourth year that the Works Program has sponsored the Children’s University. It’s always humbling to watch school children discover the workings of the District and to engage with so much enthusiasm. Hopefully, this experience becomes a catalyst for them to explore future career paths where they can reach their potential,” said Samantha Wilson, Works Program Manager.
The Works Program team also introduced the students and their teachers to the work that Renewal SA does and encouraging them to consider a work experience stint through the Works Program, once they get to high school.
“Today has been amazing, highly engaging, and informative. The children are experiencing something they wouldn’t normally have access to and its incredible,” said Elli, one of the teachers from Virginia Primary School who accompanied the group.
Dr Luca Prisciandaro, Manager Learning and Support, Children’s University said having access to industry leaders was a great inspiration for the students.
“The one-on-one experience the students have with industry experts is wonderful. It allows them to look at people like Philipp and others and say, ‘I want to be like him one day and do what he does’.”
The chance to try out the amazing the glass squash court in the Main Assembly Building and a drop-in visit to RoboRoos to learn about robotics and the technology and skill sets that sit behind them were memorable highlights of the day.
“RoboRoos was great fun, I loved the robotics. I also learnt that it takes patience, safety, and coding skills to do robotics. I enjoyed the tour of Tonsley and all the fun facts.” Mustafa, Year 5
“I love robots, I want to make them when I grow up. I learnt it isn’t as technical as I thought and other skills are required. I enjoyed talking to one of the guys at the Robotics Club.” Baily, Year 5
RoboRoos is a volunteer run program for school children that meets weekly at Tonsley Innovation District. To find out more about them and upcoming events go to www.facebook.com/TeamRoboRoos
For more information about Children’s University visit adelaide.edu.au/childrensuniversity
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