Six talented students from Christ the King Primary School in Newcomb will be travelling to Nepal in May to coach and mentor Nepali children in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics). How did this amazing opportunity come about? “It’s the result of 3 years of hard work in First Lego League,” teacher Aisha Kristiansen tells us.
“The first project in 2017 focused on ‘Animal Allies’ and was based on a problem that was affecting our bay, the Northern Pacific Sea Star – the rabbit of the marine world. The students worked with Deakin University to develop an underwater robot.
“In 2018, the competition focus was ‘Hydrodynamics’. The students explored three water problems in Geelong – the freshwater/saltwater problems at Lake Connewarre, algae blooms in the Barwon River and Point Henry. The students were keen to see the deserted Point Henry become a tourist attraction by installing Supertrees like those found in Singapore. This idea gained a lot of attention from media, City of Greater Geelong’s Council, the Bellarine Community Council and State Parliament.
“In May 2018, we represented Australia at the First Lego League European Open Invitational Event in Hungary. The teae won the Core Value Section and I was awarded the International Coach’s Award. We flew via Singapore to see the Singapore Supertrees. I got goosebumps when the students watched the light show at Gardens by the Bay. To see the reaction on their faces was one of the highlights of my teaching career!
“During the third season – Into Orbit – the students won the Championship Award at the Regionals and the Mechanical Design and Engineering Award at the State and National Competitions.
“All of these achievements led to us being invited to run an outreach program in Nepal in May. Here the students will not only experience another culture, but have the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of the Nepali students. Our Nepalese partners – Stichting Edulent and the Volunteer Society Nepal – are so excited to be joining forces with us. The Nepal project has many layers. It will be a great opportunity for our students to become empathetic, caring and compassionate learners, whilst creating a more socially just world. Their leadership will have a ripple effect on our community. The students want to raise awareness of the importance of volunteering on a local, national and global level!
“We are so grateful for the enormous opportunities that First Lego League have given us. We are also indebted to our project partners and sponsors, as all these experiences have been self-funded. We need to raise $20,000 to cover the cost of homestay accommodation, airfares and visas. The kids will be running some fundraising, but we are also looking for sponsors to help cover costs. Please call our school office on 5248 1093 or visit our website www.ctknewcomb.catholic.edu.au if you can help out.
Come and watch the team at Market Square on April 6th between 9am – 4pm staging a public demonstration.
Story: Jacqui Bennett. Photo: Supplied, Mark Wilson and the Geelong Advertiser.