Deniliquin Pastoral Times
The way of the future
Students at Mathoura Public School could be the information technology and engineering whizzes of the future.
Through the school’s robotics program, pupils are becoming more adept at hands on building, and programming robots and machines.
Principal Janice Eddy said the activity is popular with the students, and also a key part of the school’s focus on providing authentic learning.
‘‘Robotics sessions provide a fun and engaging environment for the students,’’ Mrs Eddy said.
‘‘Students thrive in this environment where creativity and curiosity mesh with the technological world.
‘‘In our student survey, robotics continues to be identified as the most enjoyed and requested subject throughout our school.’’
Each year group at the school takes part in robotics over one term, which allows them to explore their creativity and hone their skills.
It is part of an increased focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) in schools.
‘‘Working with specialised robotics kits, students assemble their own robots/ machines and program them to perform specific tasks,’’ Mrs Eddy said.
‘‘Students can follow set instructions or work in a more intuitive manner assembling the robot based on the available parts. They use advanced robotics techniques to create programs for their robot, using an iPad to undertake set tasks.
‘‘Some tasks so far have included manoeuvring through a designated path or maze, designing a robot which can move the fastest away from a given point, and selecting a project of interest to experiment with different sensors.
‘‘Robotics links to much of the student curriculum, benefiting their creative and critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills and computing skills.
‘‘Students are able to see different scientific theories at work with the robotics kit, as well as simple and complex maths.’’
Mrs Eddy said STEM has grown in importance as we move towards an even more technologically savvy world.
‘‘STEM education prepares students for the changing world of work and careers.
‘‘Programming and other IT-based skills have become an integral part of our modern workforce.
‘‘And positive experiences and exposure during their primary school education are critical for later STEM engagement, as students may start to form aspirations towards a STEM career.
‘‘Our teachers continue to learn too. STEM and technology are ever-evolving.
‘‘It’s important that our
knowledge continues to grow so that we can give the most up-to-date learning for our students.’’