Innovative robotics competition challenges the world’s brightest and best young minds

Innovative robotics competition challenges the world’s brightest and best young minds

Students from all over Australia competed with students from 10 countries at Sydney’s Olympic Park Quaycentre for the 2019 Southern Cross (10-12 March) and South Pacific (15-17 March) FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).

FIRST teams cheer on their robots

And Macquarie alumni weren’t far from the action, picking up two awards at the Southern Cross Regional.

Outstanding mentor Sarah Heimlich won the Woodies Flowers Finalist Award, and Melinda Blake won the Outstanding Volunteer Award.

The FIRST Robotics Competition charges students with designing, building and programming large robots and is celebrating five years hosting an international, qualifying regional event in Australia.

This year’s competition focused on the outer limits of the universe in DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE in which each team’s robot must work in an alliance on a remote planet to collect enough cargo pods to take with them on their spaceship before lift-off.

Director of FIRST Australia, Luan Heimlich, says the competition is about inspiring young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

“The competition is about more than establishing a winning team, but rather aims to be a fun way for students to involve themselves in real world technologies. Thanks to the involvement of sponsors like Macquarie University, Google and Ford, students can also have continued access to their STEM interests through an entry program to university, or an internship or networking opportunity with one of our sponsors.

“Macquarie is proud to be involved to create a pathway for the next generation of STEM education and careers. The competition is all about team work and it inspires confidence and ambition in participating students, all while they have a great time building robots.”

Find out more.

Photo by Jesse Taylor.

Published 29 March 2019.

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