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Digital bug has kids exploring robots, electronics

Olivia Tobin and Georgia Tobin enjoy activities at the Marker Party in a Box at Ipswich Central Library.
Olivia Tobin and Georgia Tobin enjoy activities at the Marker Party in a Box at Ipswich Central Library.

CHILDREN raced robots and explored electronics and coding as part of a unique Maker Party in a Box workshop at Ipswich Central Library this week.

Youngsters learnt about technology by playing with it and becoming digital creators, not just digital consumers.

Ipswich Libraries spokesman Cr David Pahlke said the ongoing workshops were part of the $500,000 Telstra Kids Fund Digital Futures Program, which aims to boost technology and digital abilities in young people living in regional areas.

Aiden Crook and Sithuki Hewamadduma open the Maker Party in a Box with Mayor Andrew Antoniolli.
Aiden Crook and Sithuki Hewamadduma open the Maker Party in a Box with Mayor Andrew Antoniolli.

Telstra gifted a Maker Party in a Box to Ipswich Libraries, which included Little Bits digital inventor kits, Sphero robots and Arduiono kits.

Duncan Armstrong, Telstra's Community Engagement Specialist, said the workshops were about arming local kids with the skills they needed for the jobs of the future.

"Our world is changing,” Mr Armstrong said.

"Around one million Australian jobs in manufacturing, administration and labouring that existed 25 years ago are no longer part of our workforce.

"Technology and innovation are a central part of Australia's future, and this program is about building these abilities in our local young people - we want Ipswich kids to catch the digital bug.”

Janiru Hewamadduma gives technology a try with the help of library officer Sue Cicolini.
Janiru Hewamadduma gives technology a try with the help of library officer Sue Cicolini.

Mr Armstrong said he was thrilled that Telstra and Ipswich City Council had partnered together to bring this unique workshop to life.

Cr Pahlke said the workshops would help create a new generation of young technology experts and build vital Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics skills.

"This is for kids of all abilities and the best part of the program is that it breaks down the myth that robotics, computer coding and electronics are hard and complex,” Cr Pahlke said.

The Telstra Kids Fund Digital Futures program is rolling out more than 40 digital projects for young people in regional areas right across Australia, from cyberbullying to robotic workshops and digital media making.

Head to www.library .ipswich.qld.gov.au for a full list of school holiday library activities.

Library fun

Get creative with a Japanese twist as we explore all things cute and kitsch in the library's Everything Kawaii workshop. Experiment with origami, print making, furoshiki (fabric wrapping) and more as we embrace this child-like style rebelling against the seriousness of adulthood. Bookings required.

Topics:  coding and robotics school holidays activities



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