13 August 2012

Rural Queensland school students were introduced to the world of robotics during a recent trip from The University of Queensland’s chapter of Robogals.

Over the course of 10 days, 621 rural school students attended robotic workshops where they learnt how to build and program robots using the Lego Mindstorms platform.

UQ PhD student and Robogals member Marnie Lamprecht said they received very positive feedback from the schools and parents in the district.

“Most schools don’t have the resources to be able to implement programs like this and the students have limited access to these sort of resources,” Ms Lamprecht said.

“The students, schools and families were very excited and were appreciative of the opportunity they were given to learn about what is possible and also to see what they can aspire to,” she said.

Running workshops in Miles, Roma, St George and Goondiwindi, UQ’s Robogals introduced students from 11 different rural schools to the world of robotics.

“Using the Lego Mindstorms platform we taught students not only how to build robots, but also how to program them to do various tasks such as maze solving, object avoidance and synchronous robotics,” Ms Lamprecht said.

Sponsored by Google, Robogals was given $2,100 to support its efforts in promoting technology in education to rural Queensland school students.

Founded in 2008 by a University of Melbourne student, Robogals aims to increase the number of young women pursuing engineering in tertiary studies and careers.

Head of UQ’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Professor Paul Strooper said Robogals played a vital role in encouraging school students to pursue engineering at a tertiary level.

“Robogals is a fantastic initiative, and provides an opportunity for university students to utilise their passion for engineering and inspire the next generation,” he said.

Media: Madelene Flanagan (m.flanagan@uq.edu.au or +61 7 3365 8525) or Marnie Lamprecht (m.lamprecht@uq.edu.au)