Thanks to a collaboration between Rio Tinto and the Australian Christian College Singleton (ACCS), the students now have the opportunity to take part in an exciting new robotics program.
The college’s science and technology teacher, Allan Perry, came up with the idea and support from Rio Tinto has made it a reality.
The funding has allowed the school to purchase Lego Mindstorm products, software and curriculum support material and three different types of robots have been purchased.
The Blue-bot introduces the students to coding from as young as Kindergarten while the Edison robot is more complex and suits higher levels as it can read barcodes, follow different procedures and can also be rebuilt.
Whereas, the Lego Mindstorm robot has unlimited options and is professionally programmed making it a favourite among the students.
By working with the robots, the students are learning vital problem solving skills, using literacy and numeracy to find answers, and gaining technical skills in coding and programming that will set them up for a future in the STEM workforce.
Rio Tinto specialist, Community Relations Travis Bates said that they could see the potential in the program immediately.
“By exposing students to basic programming with the introductory robot all the way through to advanced robotics with more complex robots, the students’ knowledge and skills will steadily increase. Having these skills will allow students to easily transition into the growing STEM workforce in future Australia.”
Allan said although the program has only just started the response from the students has been fantastic.
“The students are so excited to be working with the robots and it has ignited their passion in a way that conventional methods cannot. They are driving the program with some of them even giving up lunch breaks to keep working with the robots. I’m looking forward to seeing the program grow over the coming years.