Newcastle Region Library has launched two innovative science programs to encourage kids to take up subjects important to the city's future as a smart city.
The Spark! Discovery Box collection is a special science initiative presented by the library with the Children's Discovery Museum to promote science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) among youngsters.
The collection consists of boxes with different scientific themes - including astronomy, microscopy and rocks and minerals - and scientific instruments and activity booklets for children aged eight and above.
Available for loan from the Wallsend and New Lambton Branches, the boxes reveal preserved bugs, frogs and other curiosities to be viewed through accompanying microscopes.
"STEM subjects are crucial to Newcastle's future as an innovation centre, and that's why we have teamed up with the Children's Discovery Museum on this initiative," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
"The National Science Statement released last month by the Federal Government reveals that participation in STEM subjects in Australian schools are at their lowest level in 20 years, which puts Australia at risk of being unable to supply a skilled workforce.
"If we want to become a 21st-century smart city, it's incumbent on us to expose our kids to these important subjects and scientific disciplines. We can play a vital role by providing STEM programs and resources to the community."
The Spark! Discovery Boxes have been made available through the generous support of the Children’s Discovery Museum, which promotes innovative education experiences.
The other program launched by the library is The Little Bang Discovery Club, a fun science program designed to teach youngsters aged 3-5 the art of discovery and scientific inquiry.
The Little Bang Discovery Club will be presented in four weekly sessions by a science educator from UON's SMART program in partnership with Newcastle Region Library and with support from Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group.
The four-week program starts on 6 June at Wallsend Library and will be followed by repeats at New Lambton Library and City Library later in the year. For more information visit www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au and to book your spot visit www.eventbrite.com.au
Pictured Top: Little Bang Discovery. Image courtesy of Newcastle City Council.