Bright sparks light up at new science clubs

19 August 2016

Over 50 budding young scientists who took part in a pilot science club program delivered by the Museum of Tropical Queensland and James Cook University will celebrate the club’s first successful season with a morning of robotics and cake during National Science Week.

The Illumin8 Science clubs are the first of their kind in North Queensland and have been cleverly built around a sporting club model engaging children in fun challenge based science activities with continuously changing themes.

Queensland Museum Network CEO and Director Professor Suzanne Miller said she was pleased by the successful introduction of the Clubs.

“The Museum of Tropical Queensland actively focuses not just on preserving and sharing North Queensland’s rich history, but inspiring its next generation of young visitors.”

"Stepping outside of the classroom the Illumin8 clubs provide an outstanding series of fun, informal and safe activities centered on discovery,” she said.

Focused on STEM subjects, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the Townsville clubs featured activities such as robotics, forensics, game coding, biology and chemistry.

One of the Illumin8 members, 12-year-old Euan Kerswell, said the science clubs were really good fun and he’d learnt a lot through the program.

“The squid and cuttlefish dissections were my favourite activities because we got to keep all the beaks and shells,” Euan said.


Nikki Kerswell, Euan’s mother, said one of the best things about the science clubs was seeing Euan come home from the club every week on an absolute high.


“Euan constantly talks about the club and it’s great to see him working with other children on such interesting projects. Being part of Illumin8 has brought out all his strengths,” Mrs Kerswell said.


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The Illumin8 Science Clubs are funded by Inspiring Australia and supported by the STEP UP project, both Australian Government Initiatives.

Through the support of their councils, locals from Charters Towers and Hinchinbrook receive free entry to the museum and Townsville and Burdekin residents receive half-price entry.

The Museum of Tropical Queensland, part of the Queensland Museum Network, is open from 9.30am -5pm daily (closed Good Friday, Anzac Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day).