Geographe Primary School students create dancing robots

Geographe Primary School teacher Mary Ellen Sutherland and Year 4 students Maverick, Lincoln, Claire and Jorja.
Geographe Primary School teacher Mary Ellen Sutherland and Year 4 students Maverick, Lincoln, Claire and Jorja.

Students at Geographe Primary School created dancing robots which were programmed to move in time with music and follow the same dance moves as themselves.

The Year 4 class completed the project as part of the school’s STEM education program which required students to use coding to program the robots.

Students Maverick and Lincoln said it took the class about six lessons to complete the project, which was hard at times because they were required to use coding so the robot would move in sync with the music and the students.

Claire and Jorja said they were really happy when they completed the project, which the class performed at a school assembly with the robots.

The students at the school have been doing a number of activities to learn about computer coding and completing projects to practice their skills.

Deputy principal Alison Freeman said the STEM based projects were linked to critical thinking, which would be critical skill for jobs of the future.

Ms Freeman said while students would still need to be able to read, write and do maths, they would also need a whole range of new skills, which is what the STEM curriculum was trying to provide.

“Students will need to be able to think critically, problem solve and be creative, because working class jobs are going, technology is taking over,” she said.

“Jobs of the future are what we call creative jobs where the next generation will have to come up with ways to solve the problems we have created.”

Ms Freeman said students had worked on projects to reduce the school’s plastic waste, designed websites to stop bullying and one student was looking at how the school could recycle its water.

“That is using science, technology, engineering and maths to be able to solve a problem, which that student thinks is a real problem.

“Year 6 students also created their own solar ovens and brought food in to cook in them.”

Geographe Primary School science teacher Sharon Anderson said the students loved using the principles of STEM because it allowed them to use their imagination and create something to solve a problem.

“When children are connected to the issue they try so much harder and really get into the learning, which is connecting them to an issue in the world around them.”

Ms Anderson said the interest from teachers to use STEM based learning had snowballed once they had seen how its been used in classrooms.

“The children enjoy it, it involves a lot of making, doing and learning from their mistakes.”