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Students in their element

Student interest in Science and Technology is really heating up in the Middle School.

UNSW Bragg Student Science Prize for science writing

Jessica Kitchen, Year 8 has won the UNSW Bragg Student Science Prize for science writing with Priya Soni also Year 8, placed runner-up in the competition

The Bragg Prize is an annual award celebrating the best non-fiction science essay and is designed to encourage and celebrate the next generation of science writers, researchers and leaders. “My essay, 'A Pendulum Conundrum' explored the Foucault Pendulum which proved that the earth was round,” said Jessica. “I was inspired to write this essay about this great scientific discovery of the 1800's as it's hard to imagine living in a time when this wasn't understood.”

“Our next generation learners are so engaged and enthusiastic to learn about Science. In Science lessons they have the opportunity to transcend beyond conventional ideas and are able to wonder about all the possibilities of what there is for them to experiment, innovate and discover," said Simone Saunders, CCGS Science Teacher.

Young people are naturally curious and not afraid to question how the world works and why. It’s these inherent qualities that make Science so exciting for young people. “I have always been interested in Science. At the moment my ambition is to study Veterinary Science, so it’s going to be an important part of my life for some time to come!” said Jessica.

Jessica will have her essay published in Double Helix and on the NewSouth and COSMOS websites.You can read it here

RoboCup Junior Australian Open Championships

Robotics is also a growing area of interest for young people and a key skillset for the future. Jye Lobasso, Ollie Butcher, Charles Crowley, Jamie McPherson and Mackenzie Holden (Year 8) are all part of Central Coast Grammar School’s Robotics Club. They meet four times a week to program Lego Mindstorm robots.

The boys have just returned from the RoboCup Junior Australian Open Championships, where they took out 3rd place with the robots they programmed. “To finish third in Australia, in only our second year of competing in the RoboCup challenge, is a brilliant achievement,” said Head of Computing, Janine Comber.

RoboCup Junior is an international educational initiative designed to encourage and inspire students to learn about robotics, engineering and artificial intelligence. The competition allows students to work in collaborative teams to solve complex problems using robots.

“All the music, props and robots used for the competition were synchronised to perform a dance simulating a plane taking off and then crash landing. Some of the technical aspects of the dance include blue-toothing all 5 robots to talk to one another and start in a synchronised manner. It was very impressive,” said Janine.

The road to RoboCup Nationals has been paved with success. The team placed 1st at the regional competition, 1st at the State Competition and now 3rd at Nationals. Next stop is the Internationals in 2016!