‘Driving into the Future’ at QUT

“Roboticists suggest that driverless cars could soon be driving on Australian roads if road legislations reform and technology matures. Developing systems to deal with inclement weather, improving sensing of pedestrians and bicycles, and less predictable elements are some of the issues that need to be addressed before we experience a driverless society.”

This was the preamble of the workshop our students attended at QUT. It is part of the education program provided for schools. It is free and if you are in Brisbane ….it’s a must!! Workshop

Our girls proposed and programmed robotic solutions to develop driverless cars that sense the road and other obstacles, using a range of sensors and LEGO robotics. It was the first time for many girls. Leighann and Toby clearly and effectively guided the girls through coding and building their robots to move and use sensors …….. having heaps of fun while learning.

The girls had three challenges to complete with or without sensors. They soon worked out how to find the threshold value for the colour sensor and were anble to program their robot to stay on dry land (pale green) to rescue the stranded vehicle.

Another challenge was using the ultrasonic sensor to read depth of light. The girls worked out how to stop the robot at the edge of the table first! Plenty of fun catching it before it fell off 🙂

The communication tower at the top of Mt Coot-tha required fixing without falling of the mountain! The girls were so excited to see their robots toppling and dancing on the mountain!

Throughout the day the girls enjoyed interacting with the Cube’s screen Dino Zoo, Chem World, Physics Observatory and the Arcade, I think the favourite was the Arcade which consisted of three retro inspired games including – Block Breakers, Parabola Pirates and Space Junk.

All girls agreed it was a FABULOUS day of fun and learning!

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Jackie Child
Jackie Child has been teaching primary aged students for 40 years in a number of countries. She is passionate about how children learn through constructivist pedagogy. She is a Teacher Librarian at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and a sessional tutor at Griffith University for pre-service teachers. Jackie doesn’t believe in standing still, there is always plenty to ‘do’ and learn!