Year 6 and 7 students have been using cutting-edge technologies as part of a science program based at Dubbo College.
Under the watchful eye of South Campus head science teacher Maurice Elbourne- Binns, the students have produced working sumo-bots with basic coding controlling the artificial intelligence (AI).
Year 6 students from Dubbo South Public School have joined with the Year 7 AVID class at South Campus to learn about the physical forces and friction in an engaging and practical way, according to Mr Elbourne-Binns.
“They built a standard lego sumo-bot capable of independently driving around in a sumo-ring and running into opponents randomly.
“Students then customised their physical robot to maximise power and friction with the ground, so they are better able to win fights.
“The next step will see students learn how to modify the code for their robot so they can customise its fighting style.
“Then those ready for the challenge will have the chance to develop the AI capabilities of their robot by adding enhanced features like ultrasonic sensors and extra light detectors.”
Mr Elbourne-Binns said providing students with access to cutting-edge technologies was essential in helping them become equipped for the workplaces of the future.
“Lego robots have very few limits so they give students the chance to try out all their ideas, no matter how bizarre or technical they might be,” he said.
“As part of the program students develop evaluative skills as they try a battle and then refine their robot, based on the issues they encounter.”
The Year 6 students have been joining some lessons at Dubbo College this year to learn more about the way the College teaches students the WICOR skills (writing, inquiry, collaboration, organisation and reading).
Another important advantage of the program is that it helps Year 6 students to get to know what will be expected of them next year so their transition to high school is smooth.