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Students tackle tech challenge

SEVENTY-six technology gurus from Waimea Heights Primary School showcased their invention skills during the finals of the SAP Young ICT Explorers competition.

Held at the University of Tasmania Sandy Bay campus on 20 August, the competition saw students create their best information and communication technology (ICT) related projects, which were then presented before a judging panel of academia, industry partners and ICT professionals.

The year four to six students showcased a total of 29 inventions, which took four months to design.

Waimea Heights Primary School principal Sally Gill said the school placed an emphasis on educating all students to become effective 21st century citizens.

“Through the school’s involvement in the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning project, Waimea Primary aims to give all students hands-on experience in solving real-world problems with a global focus,” she said.

The students used a variety of devices to craft their ICT projects including Edison robots, MaKey MaKey controllers, scratch coding, webpage/app design and Arduino robot brains with custom-built shields of sensors to detect sound, light, distance and touch.

Each project was assessed on the criteria of creativity, uniqueness, quality, level of difficulty and project documentation.

“This kind of learning is exciting for students as they understand that they can really make a difference in the world and that problems can be solved by everyone,” Ms Gill said.

“They also gain real experience in teamwork, communicating, planning and organising a large project with many layers of challenges.

“But perhaps most importantly, they learn resilience and what to do when things don’t work – this happens frequently and these 21st century learners just pick themselves up and try again.

“As any of the students will tell you, failure is just the ‘First Attempt In Learning’ (FAIL).”

For more information about the Young ICT Explorers competition, visit www.youngictexplorers.net.au.

Caption: Waimea Heights Primary School students immerse themselves in their information and communication technology project.

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