The Imaginarium is a place where gifted girls are encouraged to develop their gifts and interests through a diverse range of courses. Courses are open to gifted girls from any school throughout Western Australia, and are held after school and during the holidays.
I’d like you to meet Mr Daniel Kaars, who will facilitate our Space Engineering course during the October holiday break. Daniel is a former engineer who has worked on a range of very interesting projects over the years. He transitioned to teaching and has worked at Perth College for more than a year now as a Year 6 teacher, and also facilitates after-school STEM clubs.
Daniel’s character strengths are curiosity, creativity and fairness. When asked how his character strengths enhance his role as an educator he says, “I think most students are curious, so I feel I can appeal to their sense of wonder about new topics and help them to dig deeper.” A range of topics stimulate Daniel’s curiosity including:
- How artificial intelligence will make life easier for people doing mundane tasks and what jobs will become automated in the future;
- Space and where humans will be in 100 years, including how we will build transport to get there;
- Nutrition and health – what foods extend a healthy lifestyle and how we can use hormesis to our advantage;
- Gamification and its role in teaching; and
- Nature – cloud formations, bird watching, and finding the best form of clean energy.
During his time as a mechatronics engineer, Daniel worked on ABB robotic arms, programming them for various applications in factories around Perth. He has designed front-end loaders for tractors and a number of other agricultural products. Daniel has also designed facial masks for people with sleep apnoea whilst working for ResMed, a Sydney-based company. He has lived in a range of countries, most recently China.
Identifying an experience while working overseas for ResMed that still resonates with him today, Daniel said, “I had to troubleshoot various problems with tooling (the mould you make all of your parts from) in the manufacturing base in Shanghai. A lot of engineering is just like that – quickly figuring out what the problem is and then designing a quick and workable solution.”
Our Space Engineering course this holiday break is an opportunity for gifted girls to think outside the box and challenge themselves. They will learn new things about space engineering, employ gamification to think critically and creatively to solve problems, explore areas they are curious about and apply this to a deep-thinking engineering design challenge. Daniel is looking forward to pushing his own limits of knowledge in the field of space and seeing the approach the students take when tackling difficult and exciting design problems.