The RoboCoast STEM Outreach project aimed to widen the participation of underrepresented youth (girls, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people with disabilities and people living in regional, rural and remote areas) aged 8 – 15 years, in STEM focused maker activities using robotics for direct exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities and experiences.

RoboCoast STEM Outreach Project funding

The project was provided as part of the Inspiring Australia – Science Engagement Programme: Maker Projects: Community Engagement Grants 2020. Funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, University of the Sunshine Coast and RoboCoast Sunshine Coast Robotics Association November 2020 – April 2022.

A unique and valuable opportunity to promote STEM focused maker activities using robotics and technologies

– Natalie McMaster, project lead USC.

The project used inquiry-based learning pedagogies in the Immersion Days and eDiscovery School Holiday Programs. During the Immersion Days, students worked in teams to propose a solution to a problem using robotics, gathering information to assist in their investigation and designing and programming a robot in response. Students were presented with coding challenges to solve, culminating in a Sumo robotics competition at the end of the day. At the eDiscovery Days, students engaged in a range of STEM focussed, hands-on, inquiry-based maker activities outside of school terms. The sessions were designed so that youth gained practical knowledge and skills from experts in design, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Final Report 30 May 2022

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