St. Francis robotics students to build Lego version of ocean floor
Students at St. Francis school will design and build Lego robots and have them complete a series of tasks in a Lego version of the ocean floor. They also plan to construct an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
The Harbour Grace school’s robotics students are using a $20,000 provincial government grant to enhance their award-winning robotics program, according to a government news release.
Over 100 students are involved in the school’s robotics program.
A seven-time provincial Lego robotics champion, the school has represented the province at the International Lego Robotics Competition in Georgia for the last seven years.
Their latest project will also include the operation of a video diary that will capture the complete design process and broadcast it via the Internet to other schools for instruction purposes and feedback.
Students will use the underwater ROV in a competition in late March,” said Norman Littlejohn, the school’s technology education teacher.
“As they work through the design process, they will also develop a resource for other junior high schools who may be interested in developing an underwater program,” Littlejohn added.
“ The initiative will help students develop problem solving and critical skills as they complete their tasks,” the teacher said.
Suggesting it is shaping up to be, “an exciting project,” Littlejohn concluded, “it will also give them the opportunity to develop skills in video production, presentation, and communication.”
Commending the staff and students for their “continued commitment to excellence in this field, Carbonear-Harbour Grace MHA Jerome Kennedy noted the robotics team “ has been successful on the provincial, national and international stages.”
Rural Development Minister Susan Sullivan said, “this experience will also bode well for students as they grow older and potentially seek work at local companies... heavily involved with using and improving the overall effectiveness of ROVs in marine environments.”
The investment was funded under a fall 2010 call for proposals seeking innovative learning experiences for young people.
St. Francis was among the close to 30 proponents that have received support totalling more than $400,000 through the provincial government’s call for proposals.
Not-for-profit organizations, schools in the Kindergarten to Grade 12 system, post-secondary educational institutions, youth organizations, industry organizations, and regional economic development boards are all eligible for support under the program.
The call for proposals was made by the innovation strategy, Innovation Newfoundland and Labrador: A Blueprint for Prosperity, which identified support for youth as an essential element in creating a culture of innovation in the province.