Hamilton youngster Eben Taylor is Canberra-bound as he joins two dozen innovators at invention convention

FUTURE THINKING: Newcastle has been focusing on fostering STEM-related talents with Questacon challenges and TAFE lessons, in a bid to draw more young people to the field.
FUTURE THINKING: Newcastle has been focusing on fostering STEM-related talents with Questacon challenges and TAFE lessons, in a bid to draw more young people to the field.

More than two dozen young innovators from across the country are heading to Canberra for the National Questacon Invention Convention, and in their midst is Hamilton whiz-kid Eben Taylor.

Taylor, 16, will take part in the five-day convention that seeks to “provide young Australians with a practical insight into innovation and entrepreneurship”, and has said that he’s looking forward to the new experience.

“I’m excited to be selected to attend the National Invention Convention,” he said. “It’s an amazing opportunity to meet like-minded people and work with Australia’s leading innovators.”

Taylor is no stranger to science and technology gatherings either – the Novocastrian inventor has already attended a local Question convention held in 2017, as well as a touring workshop titled Smart Skills.

This national gathering is the next step for young minds, with Questacon facilitators looking to help young students turn their ideas into a reality, as well as make strong connections between STEM skills, career opportunities and commercial enterprise.

“The programs really showed me how amazing design, technology, and innovation can be,” Taylor said. “I just wanted to do more.”

“When the National Invention Convention opportunity came up I jumped at the chance.”

The 25 young delegates will attend workshops, challenge their innovation skills and look to develop a prototype that will address opportunities around the theme of ‘Future Earth’.

It’s the pathways that can lead to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics that is important Tamara Niznik, Questacon’s Senior Manager of National Programs, stated.

“The National Invention Convention delegates will be able to talk to and work with leaders in innovation to develop their own prototypes and ideas,” Ms Niznik said.

“The week-long National Invention Convention will inspire future innovators, and encourage them to develop creative thinking skills critical to Australia’s economic future.”

The invention convention will run from January 15-19, and will be held at The Ian Potter Foundation Technology Learning Centre in Canberra.

The event is part of the $14.5 million Questacon Smart Skills Initiative drive, funded through the Australian Government and The Ian Potter Foundation.