Robots, VR feature in free public classes

September 26, 2023 BY

L-R: Laura Farrington and Clare Baranowski (GRLC), Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, The Brainary educationalist Hugh Kingsley, Madison Old and Tom Bartle. Photos: BILLY HIGGINS

EMERGING technologies such as 3D printing, robotics and virtual reality experiences will soon be publicly accessible at Geelong libraries following an educational and government collaboration.

Geelong education institute The Brainary has launched a free youth STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program alongside Geelong Regional Libraries Corporation that will tour the region in coming months.

The program includes 20 four-week courses for students aged 12-18 years, which have received enthusiastic uptake among participants.

Classes are themed around computer-assisted design and 3D printing; robotics and coding; virtual reality; and emerging technologies in STEM and career pathways, and provide hands-on learning for students.

Mr Marles tested out the VR headsets at Geelong Library last week.


The Brainary says coding is “the literacy of the 21st century” and that its programs aim to develop a basic understanding in the digital skills it believes will be necessary in a rapidly growing economy.

As part of the project, The Brainary will donate the technology to GRLC following its program finishing around Easter 2024, with libraries training their own staff to facilitate further classes once it owns the gear.

The project received $100,000 in support from the federal government’s Maker Projects: Community STEM Engagement 2022 grant program.

Robotics and virtual reality experiences will feature as part of the STEM education program.


Deputy Prime Minister and Corio MP Richard Marles visited Geelong Library last week for an introduction the courses and a crash course in the capabilities of robotics and VR equipment.

“It was great to spend some time with the Brainary team at the Geelong Library and hear about the wonderful STEM program,” he said.

“This program is such a wonderful opportunity to engage our teens in all this science, technology, engineering and maths.”

Places in the STEM program are filling fast. Visit https://thebrainary.com/stem-maker-project/ for more information and to register.