Jacob Van Itallie, 10, of Calliope was fascinated by a sensor that measures air quality every three seconds at Central Queensland University's second annual STEM Expo. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Jacob Van Itallie, 10, of Calliope was fascinated by a sensor that measures air quality every three seconds at Central Queensland University's second annual STEM Expo. Picture: Rodney Stevens

CQ University STEM expo educates and inspires generations

When Jacob Van Itallie stepped into the CQUniversity Gladstone campus STEM expo he was immediately in his element.

The 10 year old, who is home-schooled at Calliope, said he enjoyed getting ‘hands on’ with a number of exhibits.

“I liked seeing all the gadgets, electronic and technology stuff because I enjoy all of that,” he said.

“I found it cool at the air quality exhibition how they had a sensor that tells you every three seconds what’s in the air.

“It feeds into a database that monitors air all around the world.”

Manuja Lekanunudiyanse, Dr Linda Pfeiffer, Queensland Chief Scientist Professor Hugh Possingham, CQ University associate vice-president Luke Sinclair, Associate Professor Emma Jackson and Liz Andrews at the second annual CQ University STEM expo. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Manuja Lekanunudiyanse, Dr Linda Pfeiffer, Queensland Chief Scientist Professor Hugh Possingham, CQ University associate vice-president Luke Sinclair, Associate Professor Emma Jackson and Liz Andrews at the second annual CQ University STEM expo. Picture: Rodney Stevens

GREAT DEAL: $1 for the best local news, great rewards

The self-described car fanatic reads Wheels magazine from cover to cover, quickly recalling car makes, designs, prices and power.

“I want to work with cars when I finish school,” he said.

“Cars are such cool machines because I like anything with motors.

“There are all different designs of cars that are capable of all different things.”

The second annual CQUniversity STEM expo featured technology and information associated with everything from saving the Great Barrier Reef, turtle nesting and habitats, and coastal marine ecosystem research, to responsible waste management and protecting Gladstone Harbour.

Students and teachers from primary school level to university post graduates absorbed the knowledge on display at Gladstone’s marina campus.

Guest of honour was Queensland chief scientist Professor Hugh Possingham, who presented a key note address on the importance of science and mathematics in shaping the future.

“I love nature and I went to university thinking I was going to save the planet,” he said.

“I loved what science could do and I loved what maths could do.

“So when I realised I could combine both of them, I was satisfied.

“The mathematics I learned was what built the Great Barrier Reef green zones.

“If you end up doing something where people can see the data informing a position, that’s rewarding.”

How to activate free Courier Mail subscription

Queensland Chief Scientist Professor Hugh Possingham giving his key note address at the second annual CQ University STEM expo. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Queensland Chief Scientist Professor Hugh Possingham giving his key note address at the second annual CQ University STEM expo. Picture: Rodney Stevens

A key part of his role, Prof Possingham said, was to advocate citizen science around Queensland.

“The ultimate goal of citizen science is to make Australian democracy a real democracy, which it isn’t,” he said.

When he wasn’t ‘on the road’ advocating and encouraging citizen science, Prof Possingham said he resolved scientific problems for the government that cut across a number of government departments.

To achieve this, Prof Possingham uses his convening powers to get the best, most up to date answers for the Queensland government.

Other stories

Babies, pregnant mothers at risk from discoloured CQ water

Quarantine dilemma looms for Gladstone as ship approaches

‘I feel good’: COVID vaccine hits CQ as first jab given to Dr


ECQ moves to wind up Costigan’s failed NQ First party

Premium Content ECQ moves to wind up Costigan’s failed NQ First party

The move came after the party failed to secure a single seat at last year’s...

New mum’s stunning return to Capras ranks

Premium Content New mum’s stunning return to Capras ranks

CQ sensation will hit the field at Browne Park for the team’s weekend clash with...

Paradise Lagoons Campdraft on this weekend

Premium Content Paradise Lagoons Campdraft on this weekend

The event schedule is slightly smaller this year due to COVID-19 restrictions on...