Tech for trash

Year 5 and 6 students from Dominic College are heading off to Macquarie University following their success at the recent FIRST LEGO League (FLL®) qualifying event held at the College. Five schools participated in this year’s TrashTrek challenge in Hobart which saw teams design, build and program their LEGO robot to complete tasks in a set timeframe.

Teams had up to 10 participants, with at least one adult coach, and took part by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field and developing a solution to a problem they have identified, all guided by the FLL Core Values.

For their TrashTrek Project, Dominic College students chose the challenge of reducing the rate of landfill of plastic snap lock bags from the College's students’ lunchboxes and have been talking with the Glenorchy City Council and a local business to find an alternative and better way to deal with snap lock bag disposal.

Year 6 student Tyler said on the day of the competition everyone looked calm. "But we were all nervous!"

"First up a judge looked at the robot design to see that it would work and not fall apart during the missions. Next we did the presentation in front of a judge who seemed amazed with our work. After the presentation we were tested on First’s core values."

Mrs Selina Kinne, Director of Teaching and Learning K-10 at Dominic College, said that Robotics offers a great opportunity for students to learn about innovative technology which is fast becoming a part of our everyday lives.

"In Robotics students learn to program - a key component of the Australian Curriculum in the area of Digital Technologies - but also students learn skills of collaborative problem solving, a 21st Century skill students will need for the future."

"Learning robotics is a great way of engaging students in STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, and this competition also included Creative Arts in the areas of design and presentation of their project."

FLL judges were impressed by all teams, including the team from Holy Rosary Catholic School who took home the Robot Performance Award and Core Values Award. Dominic College students were delighted when DC Waste Warriors were awarded the overall Champion’s Trophy and qualified for the nationals in Sydney in December.