To Infinity And Beyond With Lego robotics

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The young engineers and scientists of tomorrow gathered at Swinburne University ready to solve real-world STEM problems as part of the First LEGO League ‘Into Orbit’ Challenge. Together with 300 teams from around Victoria, Dandenong West and Rivergum Primary School displayed their Lego Mindstorms creations, designed and programmed to solve physical and social problems faced during space exploration.

Both schools were judged on three tasks; to tackle a science project, to build and program a robot to complete a series of missions within a set time limit, and to develop and demonstrate the competitions core values of discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, teamwork and fun.

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Even the simplest task requires dozens of minute adjustments to be made to the robot’s programming, and countless factors – the amount of tread left on Lego tyres, the ambient light hitting the table on which the robot drives and dust particles on the competition field - all can cause issues during performance.

The highly valued Ardoch Strategic partner, Cummins, were in attendance cheering along the students as they competed against schools from around the region for the covenant number one spot during the challenge rounds.

“To date, our highly valued Ardoch-Cummins partnership has supported over 180 primary school students at Ardoch partner schools and provided volunteering opportunities for more than 40 Cummins’ staff,’ said Kylee Bates, Ardoch CEO.

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“It’s important that all students are given the opportunity to dive headfirst into science, technology, engineering and math,” said Paul Anscombe, Cummins South Pacific Director.

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Ardoch are preparing students in disadvantaged communities for a changing future workforce. 75% of the fastest growing occupations require science, technology, engineering and maths skills, yet only 16% of Australia’s tertiary graduates have STEM degrees. Ardoch’s Robotics program encourages interest in STEM by teaching students about engineering, robotics and programming in a fun and interactive way.

For more information on STEM and how Ardoch works with schools in disadvantaged communities, please click here