Toowoomba secures robotics, coding grant for kids

30th September 2017 9:58 AM

TOOWOOMBA is among six regions in Queensland to receive funding encouraging children to explore robotics and coding.

Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Minister Leaanne Enoch today announced Toowoomba and the Western Downs regional councils were awarded FIRST LEGO League robotics grants for children aged nine to 16.

"These grants will provide young people in the regions with the opportunity to get hands-on learning how to code a robot, and will open their eyes to the possibilities that technology will allow us in the future," Ms Enoch said.

The grants, offered jointly by the State Library of Queensland and FIRST Australia to public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres, will help engage children with emerging technologies.

"These grants will support public libraries to build capability in the evolving field of coding and robotics, and will inspire the imaginations of tomorrow's leaders in science and technology," Ms Enoch said.

The council will receive a LEGO Mindstorms kit which includes an EV3 robot, challenge mat and assorted LEGO, free registration in the FIRST LEGO League international robotics tournament in November, $2000 funding and access to training.

It is the second round of grants under the program.

State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said libraries were creative spaces and had important roles to play in building digital literacy skills.

"Learning to use a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot will help young people develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, encouraging them to find creative solutions through a fun, practical, learn-by-doing approach," she said.

FIRST Australia grant co-ordinator Alec Cox said the organisation was committed to inspiring young people to become leaders in science and technology.

"FIRST Australia is pleased to be involved with the State Library of Queensland in rolling out the world's largest robotics competition to libraries across Queensland," Mr Cox said.