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Workshopping the future

05 May 2017

Workshopping the future Image

The ANZ Bank held a robotics workshop for the children of its employees at its Docklands Academy last month.

As part of an ongoing program to spark more interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) among children, the robotics workshop on April 10 saw children learn the basic programming to control a robot.

ANZ’s senior manager of strategic engagement, Carina Parisella, whose six-year-old son also joined the workshop, said the workshops could prepare the children to the careers of the future.

“In the future, 40 per cent of the jobs will be related to STEM and it’s really important for children today to have the skills required in the future,” she said.

“Through encouraging children to learn to use and control technology and smart devices, they can be more interested in both the creative and technical sides of things,” Ms Parisella said.

Ms Parisella also said by engaging both boys and girls in the workshops, gender stereotypes could be broken down in the early stages of life.

“By placing boys and girls in the same learning environment, the children will understand that they have equal opportunities to become engineers, IT specialists and scientists,” she said.

Through a series of trials and errors with programing and robotics, children’s confidence would also be boosted.

“All children will walk away with a sense of accomplishment and it’s like instant gratification. Fun activities like this can improve children’s teamwork, creativity and critical thinking skills,” Ms Parisella said.

The tutors at the workshop were volunteers from student-run organisation Robogals that aims to encourage the younger generation to become more interested in engineering-related fields.

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