The West Gate Tunnel Project will continue to inspire the next generation of engineers, with its school engagement program, West Gate Kids, continuing for a second year.
The program involves running interactive science lessons at local schools for students in Grade 1 to Year 8, linking directly to the school curriculum promoting the study of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) subjects. The project has again partnered with local provider SciencePlay Kids to deliver the creative sessions.
Beyond learning about science and having fun, the program aims to increase awareness and understanding about the role transport and infrastructure developments play as Melbourne’s population continues to grow.
This year even more young people in Melbourne’s west will have the opportunity to take part, with the program doubling in size of 2020, which will see up to 3,000 students donning lab coats and protective goggles to participate in fun and creative experiments in order to ‘engineer’ their own mini city – complete with working plumbing, roads and buildings.
Dr Lorien Parker (AKA Dr Loz) is the mastermind behind SciencePlay Kids as well as an award-winning scientist with a wealth of experience working with schools to run hands-on science-focused sessions. Dr Loz says West Gate Kids is a beneficial learning tool for young kids.
“Seeing the science in your everyday is the SciencePlay Kids motto and there is so much science, especially engineering, in our day-to-day life. By pointing out the science in things we interact with daily, we present a different perspective of the world we live in which can change the way children think,” she says.
“West Gate Kids is unique in its approach as every student that partakes gets to investigate and experiment in a truly hands on way for the full session. This means that all students, from all abilities, are genuinely engaged in the sessions. Learning science should be an awesome experience!”
West Gate Kids has been developed to use real themes from the West Gate Tunnel Project as a basis for its activities, with a focus on making the program as fun and interactive as possible.
West Gate Kids also supports careers education by raising awareness about different skills needed and careers available, for example in engineering, design and the environment.
Schools and families are also welcome to visit the West Gate Tunnel Project Information Centre in Yarraville – a great place to learn more about one of Victoria’s largest road projects.
The Info Centre features a range of activities suited to young people, including a virtual reality ride of the project’s new veloway, activity sheets, an interactive 3D model of the project and so much more.
To find out more about the West Gate Kids program and the Info Centre, visit: http://westgatetunnelproject.vic.gov.au/community/local-community/west-gate-kids
To read more about the Port to City works visit: westgatetunnelproject.vic.gov.au/construction/port-to-city