Robotics skills on show at expo

Pilbara News - - News - Alicia Per­era

It was rise of the ma­chines at Wick­ham Pri­mary on Satur­day as schools part of the Scitech In­ten­sive Robotics pro­gram gath­ered to com­pete in the in­au­gu­ral Wick­ham RoboExpo.

Stu­dents from Wick­ham, Pan­na­won­ica and Kar­ratha pri­mary schools, along with a hand­ful from Tam­brey Pri­mary, showed off their pro­gram­ming skills in a range of fun chal­lenges us­ing three dif­fer­ent types of ro­bots — Bee-Bots, Edis­ons and EV3s.

Wick­ham Pri­mary sci­ence cur­ricu­lum leader and Robo Expo or­gan­iser Melissa Reimers said staff had or­gan­ised the event af­ter be­ing in­spired by Scitech’s RoboCup Ju­nior in Perth.

She said the ro­bots were so pop­u­lar with their stu­dents they of­ten asked for ex­tra-cur­ric­ula ses­sions with them.

“It draws in a lot of dif­fer­ent skills,” she said. “It’s not just pro­gram­ming and math­e­mat­ics. It’s all about cre­ativ­ity too... And (the stu­dents) see the ro­bots as fun, so they’re quite into it.”

She said the event was a valu­able chance to show schools’ work with the ro­bots to the wider com­mu­nity and demon­strate a bit more about how they op­er­ated.

The In­ten­sive Robotics pro­gram is co-or­di­nated by Scitech and funded by Mit­sui Iron Ore De­vel­op­ment. It be­gan in the Pil­bara at Pan­na­won­ica Pri­mary in 2014.

Scitech out­reach spe­cial projects of­fi­cer Saskia Scott said it was great to see chil­dren ex­cited about tech­nol­ogy that would only be­come more crit­i­cal over time.

The expo also co­in­cided with the launch of the new Wick­ham Pri­mary School STEM lab, which was open for tours through­out the day.

Pic­ture: Alicia Per­era

Or­gan­is­ers Brett Mar­shall and Melissa Reimers with mas­cot Bay­max and stu­dents (back) Taya Wil­lock, 9, and Isla McMullen, 9; (front) Jas­mine Lewis, 7, Tessa Groth, 7, and Jayda Wil­lock, 7.

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