From the Teacher of Technological and Applied Studies, Angus Brotherton
On Wednesday 23 October, Waverley College’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Team travelled to the University of Newcastle to compete in the StarLAB Mars Rover Challenge.
The challenge saw 18 High Schools teams from all areas of NSW, create code for a Mars Rover to autonomously navigate the “Martian Terrain” whilst collecting data including light and moisture levels. Not an easy task!
With an early morning departure and some heavy traffic, the students ranging from Year 7 to 12 were eager to get off the bus and get amongst the action. Once set up, the team was informed their Rover run would be just after lunch, so time was of the essence to write and test their code.
Unfortunately, under the pressure of competition and coding being the fickle beast that it is, the Rover didn’t navigate as well as first hoped. Luckily, however, the students had written a remote control code to manually navigate the robot to complete the course.
Whilst Waverley may not have won the competition, I was impressed with Patrick Hogetts enthusiasm, Aidan Korpar’s ambition and the strong teamwork of Lachlan Foley and Harjot Mand. Also a special mention to Lachlan Korpar as the only Year 7 and first-time competitor, he mixed it with the best of them.
Thanks to Mr James Spargo for his behind the scenes organisation and Mr Perry Stanbrook for driving and assistance throughout the day.