Programmed for a world of water

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Nightcliff Middle School students applied their imaginations, construction skills and programming experience to build and manoeuvre kit built robots at the FirstAustralia Lego League regional contest on 16 November.

e competition attracts nine to 16-year-old students from 80 nations, and this year the contenders responded to the theme 2017 Hydro Dynamics Global Challenge On your mark, get set, flow!.

Of the five-hour Nightcliff-hosted competition, teacher Karen Symonds said eight of the school’s students undertook a robot game challenge involving 18 missions, all of which had to be completed in two-and-a-half minutes.

“The missions involved moving and placing a number of water-related models on a board featuring a painted river and three-dimensional infrastructure,” she said. “Points accrued when the robots successfully completed duties, such as removing a broken pipe, turning a valve, flipping a manhole cover, or correctly siting a water well.

“Attachments appropriate to each programmed task were added or removed from the robots as the students worked through the series of missions worth a total of 535 points.

“The challenge not only exercises engineering and programming skills, but builds an appreciation of the human water cycle, including how we manipulate and protect our water supplies.”

The play-off was the inaugural tournament in the Territory and involved nine schools, comprising Darwin and Palmerston, and including the Alice Springs Homeschoolers through a Skype connection.

Nakara Primary School won the Project Award, Alawa Primary School secured the Robot Game Award, Durack Primary School collected the Core Values Award, and Good Shepherd Lutheran College earned the Robot Design Award.

Bakewell Primary School emerged as the regional winner, and progresses to the national final on 1 and 2 December 2017.

Program for Water

IT students

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