Once upon a time in Northcote there was a family who set off on an adventure, they were going to drive around Australia! They bought a motorhome and set off.
Along the way they saw lots of wildlife, wildlife parks/animal rescue centers and met some amazing rangers who were really passionate about their work. They also saw some some stunning natural landscapes, starry skies and lots and lots of rocks.
They went to lots of weird and wonderful outback museums and saw the CSIRO's Parkes Radio Telescope, which left a big impression!
Upon their return, the daughter of this family announced she was going to be an astronomer, scientist, evil genius, or crazy cat lady, she hadn’t decided yet. The son of the family had always loved computers and programming and wanted to be a virtual reality games designer.
They looked around for suitable science and technology based school holiday programs and extra-curricular activities, but alas, there were none to be found, or they were too far away or too expensive.
So Kerry, the mother of this adventuring family, decided she had to do something. So with newly found passion for science & technology and a back ground in training/arts/construction industry/employment services, a degree in psychology and the philosophy of science, and an obsessive and relentless drive to make sure her daughter and the rest of the kids at Westgarth got exposed to science in a hands on and creative way, she started enlisting her husband Les, who has a background in engineering and I.T, and other parents at the school who also had a passion for science and technology to do some hands on activities with the kids.
In 2015 with the help of Parents and Friends, and co-founder John Marty, the Super Science Club was established at Westgarth Primary school of which Kerry is the convenor as well as setting up and managing the website and Facebook page. So far there have been many wonderful and exciting science activities at the school, such as
The Super Science Club Launch The now annual astronomy night
A science and technology night
A walk on the moon virtual reality booth at the Super Science club stall at the fete
A free after school robotics club, which Kerry established and manages with the help of some truly excellent parent volunteers, teachers, Robogals and the support of the school.
Next they went on the geeks tour of Europe and they were struck with just how much of an impact the Renaissance had made on society and how there seemed to be less of a distinction between art, science and engineering with Leonardo Da Vinci being the perfect example of this. He made robots too!
After a lot of research on the STEAM approach to teaching science (This stands for science, technology, engineering, art and maths) and study of the new digital technology curriculum and methods of teaching it, as well as starting and managing the Super Science club’s, website and Facebook page, organising science and technology based events and volunteer work teaching the kids robotics and coding, Kerry decided this was going to be the family business they had been looking for.
As there were still no good local science based school holiday activities or local robotics incursions for schools, and after thinking a lot about how great it would be if there was a local Maker space where kids could go and tinker and be creative with technology, rather than just being consumers of it, Golden Gear Robotics- STEAM Laboratory was born!