Students buzzing about robotics

Students buzzing about robotics
Words by Michael Serenc

THE exciting world of robotics is making waves amongst students at Smithfield State High School.

School Director of Innovations David Mayes said Smithfield State High’s Robotics Club had been increasing in popularity since it started last year.

“It’s growing every week to where now we have16 students,” he says.

“We’ve got students who are trying to make their own Gameboy using our 3D printer, we’ve got a boy who’s made his own motorised scooter and girls who are programming drones to follow a flight path based on code.

“There’s an important initiative coming from Education Queensland called #codingcounts which is pushing skillsets around coding and robotics. We will prepare students for the jobs of the future and develop their skills in critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and innovation.”

The club participated in the “RoboCup Junior” Robotics Competition held at Smithfield High last month, with school students from across the Far North participating.

Students were tasked with performing a staged rescue with their robot, while also competing in a robot dance category.

“Five years ago there was only about 15 students who would come to this kind of event and last month we had over 150 students from 18 different schools,” David says.

“This gives them a chance to test their skills so we can reflect and evaluate on how successful they are as well.”

Adding to Smithfield High’s robotics club is a partnership with James Cook University, which sees experts visit the club and impart their knowledge on the students.

“We feel that we’re really privileged to be in that situation,” David says.