Somerset Times

Somerset College awarded Federal Grant for Robotics and Coding

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 6, Term Two, 2017

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Somerset College has been successfully awarded a $50,000 Digital Literacy School Grant from the Federal Government for our project to develop a coding and robotics programme from Pre-Prep to Year 10, with a focus on best practice for teaching and learning. The grant invited schools to submit projects for a share of 4 million dollars worth of funding to implement the Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum.

The federal government has announced the award of the funding that will see our students have increased access to a wide range of physical computing equipment and systems, and in particular age appropriate robotics. Our students need opportunities to learn and produce with a range of physical technologies and different systems and coding platforms from the early years through to their senior years of schooling.

The focus will be on students developing computational thinking skills and developing the skills and confidence to solve problems with technology. Computational thinking skills involves students being able to analyse, research and critically and creatively develop smart solutions to open ended problems using technology. Our Primary Years Programme and Middle Years Programme supports this project based approach.

Over the next two years, we will be putting in place a sequential approach to developing coding and robotics skills ranging from a play based, hands-on and drag and drop environment to the confident use of coding languages to produce solutions. The project will support this with funding physical robotic and computer equipment and ensure a commitment to research and implement best practice delivery.

Different year levels have already started to have robotics and coding units implemented this year. Year 2 students have been working with Ozobots and using pen and paper to draw ozocodes to create their own games. Our Year 10 Design: Information Technology students have been developing their skills with Lego’s EV3 robotics during Semester 1 and our two Year 9 Design: Information Technology classes are set to start their robotics unit this term.

This year has also seen increased extra-curricular opportunities in the Junior and Senior School with robotics and coding clubs and the mentoring of students entering IT competitions, with a focus on the process of app development and robotics.

We need to ensure that all of our students have the opportunity to learn about and have experience in working with these technologies to prepare them for future opportunities and to have an understanding of the role of these technologies in their future.

We would like to thank and acknowledge the federal government for this funding.

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