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University of South Australia - Innovation Factory - Invent and Play

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by Jo Harris (subscribe)
I love the things we have here in South Australia – the fabulous food, wine, people and places – beauty everywhere. And, for more beauty in my life, I own and operate a gorgeous little gallery called Mrs Harris’ Shop:
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There's more to technology than high-tech electronics
Chances are, if you have visited our national capital in the years since 1988, either as a child, or with your own children, you've paid a visit to Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre. And, likely as not, it's something that's never quite been forgotten!

Canberra might be too far away to make regular visits, but right now, Questacon has come to Adelaide!

So, have some fun in the school holidays - and you don't need to travel half way across the country!

Innovation Factory – invent and play is a touring hands-on exhibition that brings a little slice of Questacon to the University of South Australia.

Innovation Factory focuses on technology, helping us to understand how it makes life easier. And, if you work from the idea that technology is only high-tech electronics, then Innovation Factory is a must for you. It will re-define your concept of technology and you'll get to see things in a different light.

While the eighteen exhibits are particularly aimed at 8 – 14 year-olds, the exhibition cleverly covers many levels of complexity. There's something for everyone and the exhibition can be enjoyed by all ages.

Innovation Factory
Gear race

You can play with all manner of simple machines – cams, pulleys, levers, gears, pistons (or pneumatics), wheels and electricity. Find out how they work, by making them work. You'll discover how machines are use to create further ingenious inventions.

What makes something work better? Or less effectively? Turn a handle and watch how separate gears and axles turn wheels at different speeds. Push or lift some levers and see if you need more or less effort to shift a load.

Innovation Factory
Crack the cam lock

Crack the code and open a safe door. Select the best combination of gears and win a race. Animate a cartoon face by using different generators – batteries, power pack, solar cell, hand crank. And, try out Rock, Paper, Switches – press switches to complete an electric circuit and illuminate an icon for a different twist on a traditional game.

As you travel around the exhibition, trying your hand at the different technologies, keep an eye out for the banners that point you in the direction of simple machines to find at home, school, work and play. You'll also be able to find out about some Australian inventors and inventions and some peculiar patents that might have you wondering!

Innovation Factory
Fried egg generator? What new invention will be next?

If you'd to read about Innovation Factory at the University of South Australia, visit the website.

If you'd like to know more about Questacon (perhaps to plan some fun on your next visit to Canberra), visit its website.

Innovation Factory
To make it a little bit easier to find, check or print this campus map before you go.
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Why? Making life easy with technology. How do they do it?
When: now until Wednesday 17 February 2016
Where: K2-08 - K2-11. Kaurna Building, UniSA City West Campus, Adelaide
Cost: Free entry
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