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Putting the pieces together with STEM

Schools

Students at Our Lady of the Visitation School at Taperoo let their imaginations run wild when they created an Easter egg retrieving robot for their entry in the annual Bricks and Bots competition held last month.

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Affectionately known as ‘Ev3 Easter Wallie’, their LEGO model won over the judges and took out the coveted first prize in the Statewide contest.

Developed by Brick-a-laide together with Children’s University Adelaide, the competition is a learning experience for primary school students aged 7 to 14 years and challenges them to use their creativity, inventiveness and imagination, while applying critical thinking and problem solving skills. This year teams were asked to design and build a LEGO model based on the theme of robotics.

OLV’s entry was created by Ali, Jordan, Mackenzie, Max and Thomas and was inspired by the Mars 2020 Rover. ‘Wallie’ incorporated robotics via moving parts using a motor, sensors, gyro and power source.

The time the team spent designing, creating and presenting their robot model will be accredited as hours for their participation in Children’s University.

“Competitions like this are a great way to cultivate coding and robotics skills, stimulate student interest in science, technology, engineering and maths and provides students with an opportunity to work as a team,” said OLV principal Frank DeTullio.

“At Our Lady of the Visitation School, we are finding ways for all of our students to explore and develop skills to be successful 21st century citizens in a rapidly advancing world.”

Year 4 student Ali said by working on the model she learnt how to use motors and sensors and the most challenging part was “coding Wallie to pick up the Easter egg”.

Mackenzie said it was a “great learning experience” and being able to listen to other ideas and making compromises was “hard, but fun”.

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