An adventurous night of tech ed

May 27, 2022 BY

Robot greeting: Noah McLelland of Eureka Venturers interacts with PEPPER. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE Ballarat District Venturer Scouts are getting curious about science, technology, engineering, and maths.

Ballarat Tech School recently hosted 25 young Venturers between 14 and 17 years old, leading them through an evening of practical, educational, and fun STEM activities, aiming to spark their interests in the sector.

The young people were able to engage with the Tech School’s humanoid robot Pepper, which can recognise faces and emotions. The robot ran a quiz about their collective expert subject; scouting.

Staff taught them how to fly lightweight Tello indoor drones, before testing them throughout the air space of the building.

Eureka Venturers’ Calean Harmer said he was grateful to the facility for providing the unique opportunity.

“They have taken the time to show, teach and allow us to explore, through using the hi-tech equipment here at the Tech School,” he said.

Venturers had access to computers to experiment with digital drawing software Adobe Illustrator, and were challenged to design their own keyrings, before taking to the laser cutter to create real versions out of coloured Perspex.

The Tech School has its own virtual reality lab with 24 VR headsets, which the group were able to put on, and experience the feeling of escaping to another visual world.

Developed by engineering company Boston Dynamics, the Tech School’s agile four-legged robot SPOT also made an appearance, moving around on the night.

The facility hosts school students and organisations across the region to ensure young people can access educational and enjoyable STEM experiences, and have opportunities to consider potential career pathways in the STEM field.