Inspiring Australia update: Country kids communicating with art and science

Digital photography and solar prints of leaves and other found objects are just some of the ways community participation is being encouraged through storytelling technology.

Creative photography at the Wings Drop-in Centre in Wilcannia

Creative photography at the Wings Drop-in Centre in Wilcannia

Young people are telling stories about themselves and their environment at science and art workshops in the New South Wales towns of Wilcannia and Wagga Wagga.

They’re part of the dLab National Program, started by dLux Media Arts as a way to help regional youth contribute to their communities and shape their own future.

Using everything from digital photography to solar prints of leaves and other found objects, Wilcannia students captured elements of their hometown, learning along the way about local botany but also the chemistry of photography and the physics of light.

“We had a real ‘wow’ moment when we turned the whole room into a camera obscura and projected what we could see outside onto the walls and roof inside the room,” said workshop facilitator Yenny Huber.

Students’ stories and photographs went into a mobile app, an interactive map of Wilcannia with tours of places of personal importance to them.

In Wagga Wagga, the students’ work was projected onto the walls of the Civic Centre, alongside local music and interviews in an exhibition at the Ashmont Artspace.

“As much as the students enjoy learning about the science, the real power in this program is how they use technology to express themselves by creating art and audio-visual content,” Yenny said.

The dLab National Program continues in 2014, with a special guest appearance by Indonesian artist Andreas Siagian, who will run workshops on computer technology and electronics and will teach people how to make a DIY digital microscope from a webcam.

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Inspiring Australia

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About Michelle Wheeler

Michelle Wheeler is a former science and environment reporter for The West Australian newspaper and has been published in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Science, the Countryman, WA Today, suburban newspapers and more. She is currently a full-time freelance journalist, writing for both science publications and the mainstream media, and helps science organisations communicate their research to the world. Michelle’s work has seen her drive to the remote Square Kilometre Array site in a 2WD Hyundai, stand on a boat following a white shark attack to check shark receivers are working and spend a day on a tiger snake-infested island dubbed the most dangerous in the world. She has been in a boat crash while meeting isolated tribes in the Malaysian jungle and has interviewed Nobel Laureates, Buzz Aldrin, Richard Branson and Ewan McGregor. Michelle previously worked in science communication at Scitech and The University of Western Australia. She has a Bachelor of Science and Postgraduate Diploma of Journalism.

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  1. Pingback: “Informed by science. Inspired by wonder.” How do science events impact science engagement? | It must be Wednesday

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