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Building kids not just robots

Posted: 11am 21 Apr 2021

Schools across the Moreton Bay Region have the chance to win one of two robotics packages, valued at $2000. 

Innovate Moreton Bay and program partner Grace Lutheran College, with funding support from Bechtel Engineering, are offering schools the chance to win a package, which includes a robotics kit and training. The schools’ students and staff will develop skills needed to build the robots, so they can compete in the FIRST Australia Robotics Queensland Championships at Grace Lutheran College in November. 

More than 40 teams from across Queensland will compete for a place in the national championships. Innovate Moreton Bay Regional Innovation Co-ordinator Steve Butler said the collaboration between the organisation and Grace Lutheran College aimed to open robotics up to more schools in the region. “We know from the work we’ve done with schools over the past four years how valuable robotics programs are in developing a love of STEM-based education, not only in engineering and coding but also teaching students about co-operation, teamwork and resilience,” Mr Butler said. 

“These programs can be expensive and not all schools have the means or expertise to run them. We’re hoping to change that for two schools in our region.

“This is a chance for schools, students and parents to nominate their school and join in the fun.” 

Grace Lutheran College Head of Community and Innovation Peter Kellett has been involved in robotics since 2008. Mr Kellett said the FIRST Tech Challenge was an international organisation which worked with about two million students each year, fostering ‘co-operatition’ – co-operation with competition. “We don’t use kids to build robots, we use robots to build kids,” he said. 

“It’s also about supporting students’ collaboration, innovation and respect for each other.”

He said the Rev Robotics kits had an android-based control system and contained everything needed to build a robot. “It’s about growing engineering and innovation in the region. Students who engage with robotics programs are four times more likely to go onto study engineering at university,” Mr Kellett said. 

The giveaway also aims to open up opportunities to schools that might not have the resources to buy kits, or the expertise to run workshops with students. Grace Lutheran College students have represented Australia three times in a row at the international championships, most recently in Dubai in 2019. The school came second, just one point behind the winning school from Norway. The College has been part of the program since 2012 and was one of the four foundation schools.

Nominate your school

Visit the innovatemoretonbay.com.au website and explain in 50 words or less why your school should win a robotics package. Entries open at 9am on April 21, 2021 and close at 5pm on May 5, 2021.
The winners will be announced in the May 19 edition of Dolphins News.


Nominate your school HERE

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