Robotics skills on show at expo
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.
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.