In a time when close to two thirds of Australian students are preparing for jobs that won’t exist in the future Goolgowi Public School is taking action.
In a bid to prepare its students for the upcoming digital and technology based jobs of the 21st century the school has gone the extra mile to provide them with the opportunity to learn valuable skills in coding and robotics.
Students now have access to 10 Lego Mindstorm EV3 robots that are used weekly in information and communication technology classes.
Each week students are issued challenges to complete by teachers, with the robots which are equipped with sensors manoeuvred around various obstacle courses by their finished work.
“The first step is for the children to sit down in groups at a computer to write a set of coded instructions for their robots to follow,” teacher Beth Liddicoat explained.
“It is very much a trial and error based learning experience and they may need to do this process several times.
“It is wonderful to watch the students learn it is acceptable to make mistakes and this is all part of the learning process for solving the robot challenges that have been set for them.”
The students are now gearing up to test the skills they have learned with their choreography to be put to the test in ‘Goolgowi Public School’s biggest robot dance off’ – a challenge scheduled for Term 3.
So popular is the class that you could be forgiven for questioning how much learning is actually going on, with Mrs Liddicoat saying laughter and squeals of excitement can often be heard streaming from the classrooms alongside a chorus of congratulatory remarks.
“The students are engaged, having fun and it is exciting to listen to them discussing possible scenarios with each other when trying to complete a task,” she said.
“Robotics encourages children to think creatively, develop problem solving and collaborative teamwork skills whilst having a tremendous amount of fun.”
Funds to purchase more robots for students are already being raised through Schools Plus, with money also to go towards providing extra professional learning for the school’s technology teacher according to principal Anne-Maree Young.
“We are hoping to extend the program to include the K-2 students,” Principal Young said.
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