In Term 1, the ASPIRE program engaged its members in a range of demanding activities and challenges.
Years 3-6 students were exposed to computational thinking, through BEBRAS, an initiative of the CSIRO. Students were taught problem-solving skills and Informatics concepts, including the ability to break down complex tasks into simpler components, algorithm design, pattern recognition, pattern generalisation and abstraction.
Year 5 and 6 students were also introduced to the Lego Mindstorm Robots, with the goal of participating in the RoboCup later in 2023. The brief introduction involved the designing and building of robots and a discussion of the RoboCup, particularly the competition categories: Dance and Search & Rescue.
Term 2 will be extremely busy. On May 10th, students will participate in the first of the BEBRAS challenges, which will involve solving fifteen problems, ranging from easy to difficult, in forty minutes.
Each of the Year 5 and 6 students involved have begun a National History Challenge project, which is due around the beginning of Term 3. The focus of the challenge is on the use of research and inquiry-based learning to discover more about the past. Students become historians and choose to investigate their community, explore their family’s past or research ideas throughout history. The use of primary sources is essential and students can select from a variety of presentation styles.
Year 3 and 4 students involved in ASPIRE have commenced computer programming using Sphero Robots. They are learning to program their robots, using a sequence of code blocks, with the Sphero Edu App. There has been lots of laughter as the children experiment with ‘telling’ their robots how to move in relation to direction, speed and distance. The ASPIRE group is very excited about what they are doing and plan to share their finished projects and robot challenges with the school community throughout the year.