Students take on RoboCup challenge in Melbourne

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Bundaberg East State School students Chloe Rawson, Finn Heads and Charlotte Baker are heading to the RoboCup Nationals in Melbourne this week.
Bundaberg East State School students Chloe Rawson, Finn Heads and Charlotte Baker are heading to the RoboCup Nationals in Melbourne this week.

Three Bundaberg East State School students are competing in Melbourne at the National RoboCup Junior Australia competition.

The exciting trip comes after Chloe Rawson, Finn Heads and Charlotte Baker successfully won the Central Queensland RoboCup Junior event in the on-stage category recently.

Bundaberg East State School teacher Melinda Ford said the Year 5 students were now on their way to the nationals under their team name, Baby Sharks.

“The students named their team after the popular catchy song and have coded their robots to dance and perform a narrative in time with the music,” Melinda said.

“They have been working on this performance for four months, constructing and programming the robot themselves and have managed to include complex gears and sensors into their design.”

“It is quite impressive what these 10-year-olds have managed to code their robots to do and we think they are in with a good chance with the complexity of their program.”

Skills gained for RoboCup Junior

Melinda said the students were able to finesse their coding and robotics skills through an after-school program at Bundaberg East State School.

“The program runs all year and we focus on activities that encourage lifelong skills such as resilience, persistence, team work and creativity,” she said.

 “In the preparation for the competition, the children have really developed those skills and we are so proud on how far they have come along.”

Local robotics competition on the way

For those who want to learn more about robotics and coding, Melinda said Bundaberg East State School would be hosting their annual competition on Wednesday, 6 November,

“The competition is about promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to solve problems,” she said.

“It is about using robotics to inspire higher-order thinking and hands-on learning.

“These challenges are also designed to develop resilience, persistence, teamwork and creativity.

“Last year it was great to see a combination of high school and primary school students to work together to problem solve.”

Businesses urged to get involved in robotics education

To continue education about robotics in the classroom, Melinda said she would love to get local businesses in discussions with students.

“It would be so helpful if businesses that use automation or robotics could talk with our students about their use in our town,” she said.

“How inspiring would it be to provide real-world context right in our backyard?

“We've heard local farmers are using robots to sort produce; it'd be great to have that promoted in schools to link educational robotics to the real world.”

To find out more, to offer your assistance or to attend the local robotics competition in November, email Melinda Clancy at [email protected]

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