Shanghai beckons for Marymede's Robo Roos

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Images of Robo Roos21 November 2018

Exciting times lie ahead for Year 7 students Marc Lando, Leo Karakatsanis and Christian Nicolaou, all of whom have recently been selected to represent Marymede Catholic College, South Morang, as the first-ever Australian team to compete at the World Educational Robot Contest to be held in Shanghai, China.

The World Educational Robot Contest (known as WER) is an international robot contest for children aged from 4 to 18. Annually, more than 500,000 contestants from 50 countries participate in WER events.

The students, who have been generously sponsored by Centre Com, Sunshine, to attend the competition, are looking forward to their exciting opportunity in the Land of the Red Dragon. ‘I’m really looking forward to the experience and spending time with my robotics teammates but also the atmosphere of the whole event which is going to be huge’, said Christian.

The students will work as a team of three using robots made by Abilix – a world-leading educational robotics company – to design, build and program a robot to navigate a game mat and solve tasks around the 2018 theme ‘Information Era’. The boys have developed their team name ‘Robo Roos’ and logo, and have been working together in their lunchtime Robotics Club developing their abilities in robot design and programming as well as teamwork and innovation.

Digital Technologies at Marymede Catholic College has gone from strength to strength in the past three years thanks to the dedication and commitment of staff member Ms Kylie Buttigieg, who continues to work on new and innovative programs and opportunities for the students.

Ms Buttigieg said that the three boys were the ideal candidates to lead Team Marymede in Shanghai due to their longstanding commitment to Robotics Club and the keen enthusiasm and energy they brought to the program. Leo claimed that what he liked most about coding was ‘solving problems and progressing through different stages of problem-solving through using technology’, while Marc has always had a keen interest in digital technologies: ‘I remember starting to code around four years ago because I just had this fascination with computing and robots’.

This year’s contest is just the beginning for Marymede, which will host the Australian leg of the WER on college grounds in 2019 – with Ms Buttigieg’s Robotics Club already training for next year’s event.

The Robo Roos will depart for Shanghai on 13 December for the two-day competition.

This article was originally published on the Marymede Catholic College website on 14 November 2018.