The future in their hands at Lot Fourteen
Holding a satellite destined to be launched into space was a school holiday highlight for a group of young students on a special visit to Adelaide’s Lot Fourteen neighbourhood.
The 34 participants of the Children’s University visit, sponsored by Renewal SA’s Works Program, were wide-eyed throughout the morning’s tour and activities, all of which was designed to inspire a sense of excitement about the promising future for high-tech jobs in Adelaide.
It was mission accomplished, according to Renewal SA Stakeholder Engagement Lead at Lot Fourteen Allan Kane, who led the tour.
“Seeing their excitement, and how engaged and switched on they are about the space industry, was remarkable,” Allan said.
“When I was at school, there was no pathway from school into the space industry or into building satellites or to be a creative in the tech sector here in Adelaide, but it’s all possible now.
“The students were all familiar with NASA so when I explained about the Australian Space Agency coming to Lot Fourteen, they understood immediately.
“That was quite an exciting moment.”
After touring a portion of the seven-hectare site, Lot Fourteen tenant and founder of Inovor Technologies, Dr Matthew Tetlow, delivered an introduction into satellite technology.
Inovor is the only Australian company that designs and manufactures satellites in Australia using an Australian supply chain. Its satellites are used to monitor objects in space, and send earth-imaging data directly to clients.
“It’s really important to get students excited about technology by exposing them to it when they’re young,” said Dr Tetlow.
“The visit was a good opportunity to do that by demonstrating what we do at Inovor.
“Down the track, it’s possible that these very students could turn up as our future suppliers or as employers and employees.”
With its four focus sectors of space and defence, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cybersecurity and creative industries, no visit to Lot Fourteen would be complete without the chance to get hands-on with cool tech.
Students were in awe at being able to transform their coloured-in pictures into 3D animations using an iPad and an augmented reality app.
Samantha Wilson, Renewal SA Training and Employment Initiatives Manager who co-organised the tour on behalf of the Works Program, said it was a special moment.
“The looks on their faces when their pictures come to life — wow,” she said.
“It was a brilliant morning and the highlights kept coming from the moment they filed off the bus on North Terrace with their backpacks on.
“It was obvious how excited they were about coming to Lot Fourteen which is exactly the ambition of the neighbourhood.
“It’s a place to inspire all South Australians.”
About Children’s University Australasia
Children’s University Australasia (CUA) engages students from low socio-economic and/or otherwise disadvantaged backgrounds in extra-curricular activities that are fun, voluntary, varied with a strong link to higher learning to provide a platform for children to develop educational and work aspirations.
Students also accumulate hours towards their Passport to Learning through participating in these activities.
In addition to the student program, CUA provides volunteering opportunities for 15-to-18-year-olds, thereby providing positive role models for younger children.
Students who are undertaking the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) can benefit by participating in the volunteering scheme by receiving credits towards their SACE.
About Lot Fourteen
Situated in the heart of the city, and surrounded by our famous park lands and Adelaide Botanic Garden, Lot Fourteen is a visionary neighbourhood amidst the cultural highlights of Adelaide.
The most ingenious minds in defence, space, artificial intelligence, cyber security and creative industries come together at Lot Fourteen to share ingenuity, forge valuable collaborations and ultimately, advance the future of humanity.
Lot Fourteen will be the new home of some of the world’s leading names in emerging technology, including the new Australian Space Agency, the Australian Institute for Machine Learning, Stone and Chalk Adelaide as well as the Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre.
About the Renewal SA Works Program
The Renewal SA Works Program delivers training and employment opportunities to people who might otherwise experience challenges studying or (re)entering the workforce.