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CQ kids love to go with the FLOW for Science Week

LEARNING FUN: Science Week saw the launch of the Augmented Reality Sandbox at Rockhampton's FLOW Centre with Liam, 6 (left) and Larissa Murphy getting their hands dirty.
LEARNING FUN: Science Week saw the launch of the Augmented Reality Sandbox at Rockhampton's FLOW Centre with Liam, 6 (left) and Larissa Murphy getting their hands dirty. Leighton Smith

PARKHURST resident William Murphy likes to keep an eye on social media for ideas to keep his kids entertained on the weekend.

When he saw the FLOW Visitors Centre was unveiling their much anticipated new 'Augmented Reality Sandbox' to mark the commencement of Science Week today, he couldn't resist bringing his kids Liam, 6, and Larissa, 3, down for a play.

"(I found it) on Facebook, I've been following it for Science Week, it's something to do on the weekend,” Mr Murphy said.

Pointing to his son Liam, William said, "He loves it, he's got a real mind for it”.

SCIENCE KIDS: Liam, 6 (left) and Larissa Murphy loved the hands on interactive exhibits at the Rockhampton FLOW Centre.
SCIENCE KIDS: Liam, 6 (left) and Larissa Murphy loved the hands on interactive exhibits at the Rockhampton FLOW Centre. Leighton Smith

He said in addition to the kids enjoyed playing in the sand box, he said they enjoyed interacting with the frog life cycle display.

"(Scientific literacy is important) just so they can understand things and because science is fun doing experiments,” William said.

He said Liam loved doing experiments at home involving balloons and bicarbonate and vinegar to make volcanoes.

Education officer Peter van Gestel has worked at at the Flow Visitors Centre, a public education space created by not-for-profit organisation the Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA), for nearly five years in addition to his role as a high school supply teacher.

YOUR GUIDE: Flow Centre education officer Peter van Gestel.
YOUR GUIDE: Flow Centre education officer Peter van Gestel. Leighton Smith

"Everything's free, we don't charge. We've just had our fifth anniversary about a month ago and had 21,500 people through (total during this time), which is fantastic,” Mr Gestel said.

"We have displays that include short videos, interactive touch screens, interactive displays and now the augmented reality sandbox.”

As a geography teacher he said the interactive Augmented Reality Sandbox provided an invaluable opportunity for hands on learning for students to gain a better understanding of geographic, geologic and hydrologic concepts through the shaping of sand.

"It allows a child to take a two dimensional map and turn it into a three dimensional model to learn about contours, landscapes and topography in a fun filled way,” Mr Gestel said.

SCIENCE IS GREAT: Flow Centre education officer Peter van Gestel is full of useful information.
SCIENCE IS GREAT: Flow Centre education officer Peter van Gestel is full of useful information. Leighton Smith

He said the sandbox, which was the first of its kind in CQ, and the second in Queensland, would be going on the road, travelling to St Patrick's School in Emerald to go on display for visitors from schools throughout the region as a part of Science Week activities.

In addition to Emerald, the FLOW centre has previously visited Springsure, Gladstone and Biloela, and was open to requests for future road-trip visits.

Rockhampton's FLOW centre caters to a diversity of learning levels, with simple, fun hands-on activities for the younger audience and older audiences can be involved in more sophisticated activities and discussions, or arrange presentations by natural resource management professionals, scientists and researchers.

Come down and visit the FLOW Centre this Science Week, it is located inside the historic former post office building in East Street, Rockhampton, it's packed with interesting and interactive displays and is open from 10 AM to 3 PM, Tuesday to Thursday (excluding public holidays).

See the sandbox in action here.

Topics:  flow visitors centre peter van gestel science week william murphy



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