Mega smiles for Kidtober

Hundreds of doctors in the making put on their thinking caps and rubber gloves on Sunday to investigate ‘Anne’ the mega body and her unknown illness. 

Over 360 children of all ages wandered inside the University of Adelaide’s mega body checking Anne’s vitals as apart of the science and art family fun day held at Airdale Primary for Kidtober. 

Each group was required to check Anne’s temperature then walk through her body looking for abnormalities and try and piece together that she had the chicken pox. 

Kidtober, a month long collaborative initiative has created 59 activities for families of all ages in order to celebrate children as well as make sufficient use of the resources available in the Port Pirie area. 

The science and art family day featured a range of free events including face painting classes, fish hat making, a sink or float display, art easel painting and the mega body. 

Genevieve Pontikinas, the event coordinator for the Port Pirie Regional Council says the event is something unique and exciting for the children as it is something never before seen in Pirie. 

“We have really provided for two ends of the spectrum, those more interested in the art and craft making and those who have a strong interest in science.”

“The science side is super exciting as it is an augmented reality experience.”

The mega body is an initiative of the University of Adelaide’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and focuses on having children engaged in STEM. 

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and maths and is about integrating each of those four aspects into a holistic and meaningful learning experience for students. 

According to the university a large problem facing the Australian economy is the declining number of young Australians choosing STEM subjects in school. 

This decline means that Australia is not developing the skills needed to meet the demand for economic growth and the jobs that come with that growth. 

Sheridan Clark, Regional Lecture Series Project Officer from the University of Adelaide says that kids can only aspire to be what they know and it is hard for them to know if they are into science if they have no exposure to it. 

“We know it is important that kids are engaged and if they aren’t, they won’t be interested. That is why we have combined science and technology to try and make it attractive to them.”

The University of Adelaide previously visited Port Pirie as apart of the Regional Lecture Series that engages school students in years six to nine to provide them a unique educational experience they would not usually receive being in a regional area. 

Ms Clark highlights how important these events are for regional communities and educational growth. 

“People who live regionally can’t simply drive past a university. It is not something they see everyday and if there is something being offered, how are they to experience it.”

“We want to demystify children, they may grow up and think that science is not for them but really they just have not been exposed”, Ms Clark said. 

For more information on Kidtober and the upcoming events, see their Facebook page.