New Lithgow Valley Science Hub brings science and art workshops to the region

The Lithgow Valley just got more exciting, with the establishment of an Inspiring Australia Regional Science Hub! The Hub will serve as a focal point for local science, sustainability, and art community groups and businesses, supporting them to grow, network and collaborate through delivering events and workshops in the Lithgow community.

The Inspiring Australia Regional Hubs are a substantial network of science, art and technology community groups and education initiatives across the state of NSW. The Lithgow Valley Science Hub will join over 20 regional hubs across the state. These hubs deliver key events, such as the Sydney Science Trail, the Hunter Science Festival, and the Blue Mountains Science at the Local.

Leading the Lithgow Valley Science Hub is STEAMworks, a not-for-profit community, art, and education centre based in Portland. STEAMworks was created to inspire and upskill young people in the Lithgow region with a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths and Medicine (STEAM). The STEAMworks board consists of Portland locals, including Geoff Welsman and Rich Evans, as well as and The Foundations director Martin O’Connell. Joining the team are science and sustainability educators Joanna McNamara and Luke Steller, who will bring their extensive experience in producing engaging STEAM events to the organisation.

STEAMworks Slime workshop with Portland Central students hosted by STEAMworks board member and science educator Luke Steller

The Hub has hit the ground running, already receiving funding from Inspiring NSW to host a series of science and art events throughout 2022. These events will partner local artists, community groups, and scientists to deliver a range of events fun for the whole family!

These events include a Kids Create: Bee Hotel Workshop, whereaward-winning artist Harrie Fasher (who is the Foundations Portland Artist in Residence) and ecological “edutainer” Amelie Vanderstock (who brings ecology to life through music and play) will team up to create their own bee hotel. There will also be a “Sip and Create” version of this workshop, where community members over 18 can enjoy a glass of local wine while learning about native pollinators and building their own insect hotel sculpture for their backyard!

Local artist Harrie Fasher (left) and ecologist entertainer Amelie Vanderstock (right) will partner up to create a series of Bee Hotel Workshops

The hub will be offering a series of dance workshops, where kids can explore animal movement and the tracks they leave through dance! Hosted by Neville Williams-Boney, a proud Wiradjuri man and NAISDA Dance College graduate, this workshop will allow participants to make their own tracks in sand, using dance and science to explore animal movement on the ancient Earth.

Dancer and choreographer Neville Williams-Boney will lead a workshop exploring animal movement through dance.

There will be a local astronomy night, hosted by local cultural astronomers Trevor and Tina Leaman from Dark Skies Downunder, in collaboration with Indigenous Knowledge Holders. With telescopes on display to use and astronomy workshops happening throughout the night, this will be an opportunity to explore the nights’ sky like never before.

The Hub will also host an ecological exploration picnic, where Amelie Vanderstock will facilitate workshops exploring the local biodiversity of the iconic Millponds in Portland. Featuring local musicians and market stall holders, this picnic is not one to miss!

If you would like to know more about The Lithgow Valleys Science Hub, are interested in joining the Hub, or are interested in collaborating on an event, please contact  

Featured Image via Luke Steller

About Planetary Health Initiative

Blue Mountains City Council’s Planetary Health Initiative is working in collaboration with the Mountains Community Resource Network, Lithgow City Council, Western Sydney University’s Lithgow Transformation Hub, and the Sustainability Workshop, to establish this communications platform on behalf of the community. It is supported by a grant from the Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (DRRF) which is jointly funded by the Australian and New South Wales governments.

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