Students at Our Lady of Good Counsel School shared their knowledge with other school kids and local businesses at their Learning and Growing Student Expo. Rithesh Vivek
Students at Our Lady of Good Counsel School shared their knowledge with other school kids and local businesses at their Learning and Growing Student Expo. Rithesh Vivek Ebony Graveur

12-y-o coder keen for future with flying robot firefighters

ONE Year 6 student has high hopes robots will soon be able to help fight fires.

Rithesh Vivek, from Our Lady of Good Counsel, Gatton, began learning the basics of coding two years ago at school.

He said robot helpers could assist in bush fire season in the not-too-distant future, as the world of computer programming became "bigger and bigger”.

"In the future, it will get bigger and bigger and bigger until robots can do stuff like float in the air or help people in the community,” he said.

"(In fires) you could watch over and see what's happening and drop some water down,” he said.

The Gatton Showgrounds turned into a hub of learning yesterday, when the savvy students of OLGC brought their knowledge out of the classroom and into the community.

Students from various Catholic schools across south east Queensland along with Lockyer Valley businesses verged on the Learning and Growing Student EXPO to learn from the school's "mini experts”.

Rithesh, along with a small team of classmates, was on robot duty, showing off everything the EV3 (mini robots) could do.

"We got EV3s and we're coding them to move and trying to make sure they don't hit boxes and make sure they know what they're doing,” Rithesh said.

The EV3, which Rithesh said was able to do backflips if the right person was driving it, travelled across the dirt at the showgrounds while a pilot controlled its movements from a nearby computer.

"You got to code it and then connect it by Bluetooth, which makes it move,” he said.

The little robot could also be connected to the computer by wires.

"But, with the wire, there's a problem - you have to follow the computer with it but with Bluetooth you don't have to,” Rithesh said.

His classmate Anne Fitzgerald was on microscope duty and said she and her crew focussed on a "microscopic worm” called nematodes.

Students at Our Lady of Good Counsel School shared their knowledge with other school kids and local businesses at their Learning and Growing Student Expo. Anne Fitzgerald
Students at Our Lady of Good Counsel School shared their knowledge with other school kids and local businesses at their Learning and Growing Student Expo. Anne Fitzgerald Ebony Graveur

She said there were both good and bad nematodes living in the soil beneath our feet.

"If you get a tablespoon of soil, there are 30 billion bacteria - nematodes aren't bacteria; they're little animals,” she said.

"The bad nematodes look like there's a needle piercing through them and the good ones are just clear.”

Year 6 teacher and expo coordinator Kristi Warskitt said the expo brought more than 300 students to the showgrounds.

"These are all activities contextualised to the Lockyer Valley and are as hands on and engaging as possible,” she said.

"The overall goal is to provide an enriching experience to students around contextualised curriculum, with the STEM and HASS perspective, particularly.”


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