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Girls Dance with Robots

Release Date: 03-Nov-2016 | Go Back

Roseville College STEM* Club Members in Year 7 and 8 are passionate about science, mathematics, engineering and technology, with two girls literally dancing to success with their robots at a recent RoboCupJunior Competition.

Year 8 students, Jessica Weiling and Cassie Baker, and their robots danced their way to first place at the RoboCupJunior Sydney Regional Competition, and recently competed at the NSW State  Competition.

"I grew up with robotics because it was my Dad's hobby," says Jessica, who shared "the robotics but" with her friend and now team-mate Cassie. Both girls say that robotics bridges what they learn at school with something they enjoy in their free-time.

Roseville College Mathematics teacher, Mr Charles D'Silva, and the school's Learning Innovator, Mrs Kim Maksimovic, agree that co-curricular activities, like the College's weekly STEM Club, provide stimulating ways for girls to leverage what they learn in class and apply it practially using their imagination, experience, determination and learned theory.

Mr D'Silva says students benefit from STEM Club beyond the pure technical skills, including: having a sense of belonging, connecting with other girls with similar interests, developing computational thinking and project management, and learning perseverence, teamwork and emotional regulation. He says he was inspired by Jessica and Cassie's approach to the RoboCupJunior Competition, which included training before school, at lunch and after school, as well as collaborating to design and build a ramp for their robots to use as part of their choreography.

"When Jessica and Cassie arrived at the State Competition, they expected to do well after the 'highs' of winning their regional round. However, in unfamiliar and changing conditions, the girls discovered that their robots didn't perform consistently, as planned. Despite this, they didn't give up and completed their routine with a smile," explains Mr D'Silva, who adds that they demonstrated invaluable attributes of a positive outlook, self-control and good sportsmanship in the midst of their own disappointment.

At Roseville College, developing strong, positive character attributes is as important as providing a robust curriculum and encouraging students to explore areas of personal interest and ability. Accordingly, in addition to STEM Club, the School offers co-curricular options in a wide range of areas, such as for the community service and charity groups, Crusaders, performing arts (ie, dance, drama, bands, musical productions, performance, tuition), debating and public speaking, Antipodeans Abroad and Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, exchange opportunities, languages, mock trial, sports, leadership such as SRC, photography and creative arts.

*STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Photo: Roseville College Year 8 students at the RoboCupJunior Sydney regional competition.