Girls working on their robots before the robotic competition
15 February 2019

St Cathodes gear up for the FIRST Robotics Competition

​'To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.' Dean Kamen, Founder FIRST® Robotics Competition. 

For the past six weeks, girls from the senior robotics team 'St Cathodes' have been working furiously building their robot for the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC).  Competing for the third consecutive year, an eclectic group of student designers, engineers, mathematicians, programmers and business managers have been utilising their skills in a program that embodies the concept of experiential education.  

With a different challenge each year, teams are given six short weeks to strategise, plan, design, build and program a robot. It must be able to work together with other teams' builds to accomplish a range of tasks in a two and half minute match. With each year varying significantly, students are required to draw on a range of experiences and knowledge to be able to visualise and create an entirely new construct each year. 

Improving every year, the St Cathodes team continues to grow and is now over 20 members strong. Four staff members volunteer as mentors for the girls. The support from Old Girls has also continued to grow with former team captains Aurelia King (OG2018) and Teddy Zuo (OG2018) returning as team mentors, and software engineering student Yasmin Manovel (OG2017) also providing an invaluable source of expertise for the team. These former students are important role models for the girls as they pursue their degrees and careers in STEM.     

FIRST stands For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology and is an international organisation that looks to inspire students to participate in STEM. A large-scale robotics competition and the flagship event, FRC brings together students and mentors to build robots that perform in a competitive but gracious environment against teams from all over the world. In building their robots and completing the many requirements that go hand-in-hand with the FRC, students learn valuable life skills like teamwork, collaboration, public speaking, technical science and engineering skills and gracious professionalism. The competition is often described as the hardest fun you will ever have!

Our participation in this invaluable competition held over the weekend of 15, 16 and 17 March this year, would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. Our thanks go to AUP IT for their generous financial support, without which we would not be able to provide such an exciting and unique opportunity for our girls. Big thanks also to the Australian Computer Society for providing coding and technical mentoring to the team. 

Mr Rene Mercer
Director of STEM and Innovation


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