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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!
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.
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.
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!
Fried egg generator? What new invention will be next?