Queensland Science Minister Leeanne Enoch and Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher had a close encounter with a spider at the World Science Festival Gladstone community day.
Queensland Science Minister Leeanne Enoch and Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher had a close encounter with a spider at the World Science Festival Gladstone community day. Daniel Lato

Science festival opens doors for future jobs

THE wonderful world of science was on show at Gladstone on Saturday as the World of Science Festival kicked off their regional tour at the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre.

The Gladstone community day was the first stop on the regional program for the World Science Festival Brisbane event in the Queensland capital from March 22-26.

Approximately 2000 people, mostly children, attended the free festival which aims to bring world-class science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) events to regional communities according to former Gladstone resident and Queensland Science Minister Leeanne Enoch.

"These events are important to inspire young people, families and central Queensland communities about pursuing careers in STEM,” Ms Enoch said.

"The program provides opportunities for the Gladstone community to get hands-on and learn how science impacts our day-to-day lives from making a phone call to building a house.

"Science is a part of everything we do and a very important part of our future... we know that jobs of the future have that STEM focus and we need our kids to have all those skills so they can have that competitive edge when it comes to jobs that are on the horizon.

"We kick off the tour here in Gladstone and also visit Toowoomba, Townsville, Chinchilla and it culminates at the end of the month with the big festival in Brisbane.”

Science Minister Leeanne Enoch demonstrates how a Hydrogen atom works.
Science Minister Leeanne Enoch demonstrates how a Hydrogen atom works. Matt Harris

Atoms, spiders, robots, dinosaurs, drones, 3D body part printing and various interactive workshops and presentations were on show for budding scientists at the day-long event.

Former Queensland Alumina Limited worker and now Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher, who had a self-confessed interest in chemistry when he was younger, said the festival was a great way to have people of all ages engaged in science.

"It's just not about getting the kids engaged but we're also getting parents and grandparents engaged because the kids can't do this by themselves,” he said.

"They need the support of their family to do a career in science.

"Science is a wonderful thing and I'm sure if I had my time again I would be loving this stuff, particularly the spiders.”

Queensland Museum Network chief executive officer and Director and Queensland Chief Scientist Professor Suzanne Miller said the festival would spark an enthusiasm for science by inspiring students, teachers and whole communities to take an interest in STEM.

"Science is constantly changing our lives and challenging our perceptions, helping to craft a future we couldn't have imagined even a years ago,” Professor Miller said.

"We have been able to expand our regional program for 2017 and bring this incredible event to Gladstone for the first time, thanks to the support from our community partner QGC (Queensland Gas Company).”



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