St Philips at Salamander Bay holds STEM week for local schools

Various students with robot vehicles
Various students with robot vehicles

 

ST Philips Christian College, Salamander Bay, recently held a STEM (Science, Technology. Engineering and Mathematics) week which was open to all schools in the Port Stephens area.

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The particular focus was on encouraging Aboriginal girls in to the subject area, a demographic that is highly under-represented in this academic and career area.

Each day throughout the week saw a different visitor and aspect of the STEM arena and was co-ordinated by Jodi Phipps, Science and Computing Teacher.

The week featured visits from the RAAF to talk about their simulators; the University of Wollongong to discuss DNA, isotopes, water tanks, Starlab and 3D Printing; LendLease company – to talk about civil engineering; the University of Newcastle to demonstrate Robotics; plus students watched the film ‘Hidden Figures’ about Black female Mathematicians who worked at NASA during the Space Race.

All students at the school participated in the week’s activities.

This Reporter visited on the Friday, when the University of Newcastle were working with the children on Robotics.

Dr Wong from the university, who is a Post-Doctoral Researcher in Neuroscience and has a background in Robotics and Computer Science, was overseeing the session.

Robots were used to perform rescues, dancing and a football match.

Robot vehicles followed a randomly selected winding line on a series of tiles to a designated rescue area.

On the way the robot could encounter challenging obstacles and then has to rescue a ‘person’ when it encounters a chemical spill.

The pupils were very engaged by this activity.

Other students were working on programming robots to dance.

Lastly we had the football playing robot.

Dr Wong told News Of The Area, “The ultimate aim is to have a football match between life-sized robots and the world’s top players, with the intention of beating them, by the year 2050.”

The Robocup workshop particularly focusses on females and schools in low socio-economic areas, though all schools are welcome to apply.

 

By Sarah STOKES

 

Talleira Swain (11), Shakyia Apthorp (11), Mikayla Avery (11) and teacher Samara Abrego from Raymond Terrace P.S. Photos by Sarah STOKES
Talleira Swain (11), Shakyia Apthorp (11), Mikayla Avery (11) and teacher Samara Abrego from Raymond Terrace P.S. Photos by Sarah STOKES

 

Jake Bassett (8), Harper Murray (9), Robert Goonan (8) and Taj Fairhall (10) from Bob’s Farm P.S.
Jake Bassett (8), Harper Murray (9), Robert Goonan (8) and Taj Fairhall (10) from Bob’s Farm P.S.

 

Rebecca Turner and Madelyne Turner Year 9 experimenting with a Mars Rover.
Rebecca Turner and Madelyne Turner Year 9 experimenting with a Mars Rover.

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