Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has unveiled upgrades to the vertical slide at Bendigo’s Discovery Science and Technology Centre thanks to federal funding.
Discovery received $11,000 through the Stronger Communities Program for their ‘Pimp My Slide’ project.
“This exhibit, based at Discovery, will become part of their ongoing commitment to build science capacity in both children and their families,” Chesters said.
“The hands-on exhibits at Discovery engage young people in a fun and interactive way, teaching them the importance of science and maths.
“We need to build foundational STEM capabilities in young people to ensure those skills are carried into our future workforce.”
“I commend the hard work of the Discovery Science and Technology Centre on their excellent and innovative application, it is a competitive process.”
The Stronger Communities Programme funds small capital projects in local communities in which will deliver social benefits.
Discovery General Manager, Al Reid said the vertical slide is the tallest in Australia and one of the key attractions for around 32,000 visitors annually.
“We have upgraded our slide by installing an overhead laser projector to beam video and still images onto its surface.
“When combined with movement sensors, the projector turns the slide into a giant interactive exhibit - imagine falling down through a school of fish to be gobbled up by a shark!
“The slide also provides a digital billboard, visible from our entry foyer, to convey information about Discovery's programs, events and exhibitions,” Reid said.
“By enticing visitors through the door with our upgraded interactive slide, we can engage them in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) by stealth, which is the real purpose and public value of Discovery.
“STEM is the fastest growing job sector in Australia but many young adults miss out on these jobs by dropping out of STEM education too early.
“Discovery addresses this issue by activating scientific curiosity and building foundational STEM skills from an early age.”