Earlier this month, Macquarie welcomed more than a thousand students from 26 countries to compete at the Asia Pacific Invitational, an event hosted by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Australia, and sponsored by the University, Google, Lego Education, and other international companies.
Supported by families, educators and industry leaders, 46 teams competed in the six day tournament, which comprised of two events: the FIRST® Lego League Asia Pacific Invitational for students aged 9 – 16, and FIRST® Tech Challenge Asia Pacific, for students aged 14 – 18.
Each of the teams worked with mentors and coaches to design and build a robot, program it with industry standard software, and complete tasks using a standard set of rules. They were also tasked with a research project to complete - solve a real world problem related to individual learning styles and abilities. Several teams received honours that rewarded gracious professionalism, team work, design excellence, strategic design and competitive play.
At the opening of the event, Professor Jim Lee Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) told guests FIRST Australia is an inspirational organisation which develops tomorrow’s leaders in a supportive framework that fosters and promotes innovation and integrity through cooperative competition.
“I am delighted that Macquarie, as a university of service and engagement, is the lead sponsor fully supporting this event, and we look forward to working more closely with FIRST to promote its programs across Australia and around the world.”
Teams were also invited to showcase their own culture and artistic heritage through a ‘Friendship Night’.
‘FIRST is not all about robots,” said FIRST Australia Director Luan Heimlich. “It is an amazing place that brings incredible young talents together to shine in their own ways. We are so proud of hosting such event in the past three years, and look forward to welcoming more teams and countries in the years to come.’