My school decided to participate in the Rescue division based on advice from Jim Riley, the ACT RoboCup Junior Chair. This involves following a line through obstacles to rescue a victim in a 'chemical spill'.
Both Caren and myself, teacher-mentors for our three robotics teams, went into the competition with the expectation that we would have a go, have fun and learn a lot about how the competition worked for future improvement. And that expectation was fulfilled! We. Learnt. SO. Much!
We discovered that students in Years 3-6 can persevere and problem solve. We also found out that children get hangry and need regular feeding (who would have thought?!) in order to be able to cope with adversity. Our teams weren't as prepared before the event as we were hoping, but in the end, we all managed some success. One of my favourite moments was when a Year 5 student finally got his robot to line follow (something he'd been working on ALL DAY) and the absolute joy on his face when he proudly showed me will be something that sticks with me for a long time to come.
Unsurprisingly, we didn't win any awards at the end of the day, but we did come away with the generous donation of a set of rescue tiles that the ACT RoboCup Junior committee gave us to help us develop our programming skills.
It was definitely a worthwhile experience, and we all learnt a lot. A huge THANK YOU and shout out to my fellow teacher-mentor, Caren, who worked hard to get the teams as prepared as possible, our STEM executive teacher, Lynne, who came and covered the 2 hours I needed to pop out and attend an engagement party, and Chris, our new principal, who brought his family out to support our teams.
Another thanks goes to the parents who supported us in dropping off and picking up children for the Friday evening workshop, and the Saturday competition. Some parents even stayed and helped out with programming robots and problem solving while Caren and I were busy with the other teams. What a great result!
The biggest THANK YOU needs to go to the ACT RoboCup Junior Committee, who worked tirelessly up til and during the competition, and who supported our little teams to go as far as they could. Thanks so much!
Thanks for dropping in,