Wired together, students unite in robotic adventures

Asset Publisher

03 April 2024

Public school life Events and initiatives

A $75,000 grant is allowing 13 WA public schools to come together and share their interest and love for robotics.

The grant, offered by Schools Plus, was secured by robotic coach and Southern River College teacher John Townley and is provided each year for three years.

John Townley with students.

The Gosnells Robotics Clubs project will give students an opportunity to compete in prestigious competitions, such as the First Lego League and the First Robotics Competition.

Southern River College and Thornlie Senior High School will be lead schools, with students from the two mentoring others from Ashburton Drive Primary School, Gosnells, Huntingdale, Seaforth, Southern Grove, Wirrabirra, Yarralinka, South Thornlie, Forrest Crescent, Yale, and Thornlie primary schools.

Mr Townley highlighted the importance of these types of STEM competitions and said the Gosnells Robotics Club will also focus on well-being, with secondary students able to attend workshops that promote positive mental health.

“Competing in robotics competitions at state, national, and international levels, provides students with exciting multidisciplinary learning opportunities while building self-confidence and a strong sense of belonging, representing their own communities,” he said.

“Seeing students develop essential life and work qualities in a multidisciplinary STEM learning environment is why I love to help students achieve their best in robotics.

“Having coordinated a similar project in Armadale some years ago, I am hoping that the well-being and inclusion foci in the project will help create sustainable school cultures of STEM learning pathways through robotics.”

Students will be able to participate in robotic workshops such as Robots In 3 Days (RI3D) with support from Curtin University Outreach, in preparation for these competitions.

Teachers involved in the robotics club will also have an opportunity to attend workshops covering engineering, coding, competition logistics, and design thinking to further support students in their robotics endeavours.

Mr Townley is keen for the Gosnells Robotics Clubs partnership to be sustainable and become embedded in schools beyond the three years of the grant.

For more information on Schools Plus partnership opportunities, visit the Schools Plus website.

More information on First programs can be found on the First Australia website.