Recently our Indigenous Digital Excellence (IDX) team headed to Thursday Island in the Torres Strait to share robotics, online gaming and 3D printing experiences with young leaders in the community. Our IDX Learning Experience Designer, Zoe Betar shares her experience.

After three flights and a ferry, I realised just how far away the communities in the Torres Strait are and how difficult it is to get resources there. With us on our journey from Sydney we had 3 cases, holding a 3D printer, 6 LEGO Mindstorm EV3 robots, 12 surface pros and all of the extra bits and pieces, our tools to inspire the next generation of Indigenous digital leaders in the Torres Strait.

Over three days we held three digital making workshops with 20 young leaders from the Port Kennedy Association vacation program.

At IDX, learning experiences with a cultural focus in communities are our core business, and we were very excited to share our skills and to learn from members of the Thursday Island community.

As a team we never stop learning. Each location will test the technology that we have and the way we teach it. There is nothing more rewarding for us as an initiative than seeing the excitement, the joy and the ability that the young leaders we’ve had the privilege of working with so far, exhibit when they use the technology for the first time.

During the workshops the young leaders had so many questions about the equipment, technology and how it works.  The excitement at seeing a 3D printer work was obvious. They were so excited about it and for young leaders that hadn’t seen or used them before, they were naturals.

It was the same for the robots, they had them driving through obstacles, turning, reversing and racing each other.

What was special was how the older students stepped up naturally, to help others with their robots. They worked together as a team inspiring each other.

9 year old Tura shared his discoveries with them and had this to say about his experience with us.

“I’ve been playing with robots, helping other kids, making a video game, writing my name ona 3d printer. I found it extraordinary. I never thought I could do that. When I grow up I want to be an inventor. I want to make a big robot that can help the world.”

Special thanks to the TSRA The Port Kennedy Assocation Vacation care Program, Miss K and Miss Leah and the Thursday Island community for having us.