Posted on October 29, 2019 / From our Principal
This week we have a special guest introduction from Sue Healey, Director of Information & Technology Services.
Following a passion ……. for coding
At Tintern, a core focus of our educational offerings both in and outside of class time is to encourage students to explore their interests through a range of diverse experiences. The importance of giving students opportunities to pursue their learning from different perspectives and with different tools has an important educational advantage of greater engagement in the learning process. This year our STEAM program in both the Junior and Middle schools has had a particular focus on giving students an opportunity to take up the challenge of coding.
In Terms 2 and 3, more than 30 students in the Junior and Middle Schools participated in the Rescue challenge run by RoboCup Junior Australia. RoboCup is a project-oriented educational initiative that supports local, regional and international robotic events for primary and secondary students. The focus of RoboCup is the development of teamwork skills as well as technical coding skills and innovation in an environment of participation, fun and excitement. Congratulations to Ella Carboon (Year 7) who participated for the first time in the secondary rescue challenge at both state and national levels, placing fourth overall in the state competition and seventh overall in the national competition. This was a tremendous result given that this was Ella’s first time competing at the secondary level.
We also have in our Year 7 cohort a student who has been competing in RoboCup Soccer for a number of years – Skye Sriratana. Skye is the Australian national RoboCup soccer champion and will be competing against the world’s best in Budapest Hungary in two weeks. We wish Skye all the best on the RoboCup world stage and look forward to hearing about her adventures on her return to school in late November. A special thankyou to Dan Sriratana (Skye’s dad) and Simon Ch’ng (Melody Ch’ng’s dad) who have been our expert trainers during the RoboCup season.
Another coding initiative this year has been our partnership with Code Camp Australia. Code camps are run during school holidays with the aim of supporting students to design, code, problem solve and become technology storytellers. The program supports students to move from technology consumers to creators and build their own apps and games in three days. This year Tintern has run the Spark program, for students aged 7-12, to code and build their own 2D games. In 2020/21 we plan to expand this program to include ‘3D World Builders’ and ‘Web Hackers’. Over the upcoming Christmas break we will be running a 3-day workshop for students in Years 3-7 on how to code and build their own phone apps. More information about this program will be advertised in future school newsletters. A special thanks to alumna Annabelle McKenzie (YG 2018) who volunteered her time to assist in the running of the September program.
And not forgetting the staff, last week our Junior School teachers had their own Technology PD with Prep to Year 2 teachers looking at the range of coding tools available from The STEAM Centre while the Years 3-6 teachers participated in an Adobe Illustrator session to create a digital file for the laser cutter. Our Information & Technology Services staff are always on hand to support teachers and students who want to pursue their interests in STEAM. The Centre is open from 7.30am until 5.30pm each day and in 2020 we will be extending our services to parents who want to try their hand at 3D printing and/or creating files for the laser cutter.