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Congratulations to the Junior School boys who participated at last week’s Junior RoboCup, with the finalists placing 1st, 2nd and 3rd against a competitive field of 37 teams. These outstanding results are testament to Saints’ highly regarded Robotics Program, designed to challenge and extend boys’ learning.

As part of the Junior School Robotics Program, approximately sixty boys in Years 4-6 meet once a week during Terms 1 and 2 to develop coding and construction skills using the Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots. Their task was to build an original robot that had light and sonic sensors that would enable their robots to find their way through a course by following a black line.

In Term 3, twenty of these students were selected to enhance their skills and enter into the South Australian Junior RoboCup Rescue Competition, having spent the first day of their mid-year break at a full day workshop at the Education Development Centre. Here, they were lead through a variety of coding situations by mentors from around Australia.

Following this, each team of two boys consolidated their constructions and coding routines at school and at home during the first 4 weeks of Term 3, greatly improving the success rate of their robots to navigate a variety of tiles.

In all, Saints entered ten teams to compete against a further twenty-seven teams during the first three rounds of the Junior RoboCup competition. The three highest scored teams then proceeded to the final round.

As this was Saints’ first experience in this competition, we really had no idea what to expect or how the competition worked. In the first three hours, the boys were frantically changing their code so that their robots would work under different light conditions than they were used to. It was heartening to see the boys persevere, test their robot and coding before each round. They all showed true grit and resilience!

Three of our teams made it to the finals where they competed on a triple course at the same time. Once the course was set up, the boys only had a few minutes to make any quick changes to their coding before the finals started. After three 2-minute rounds, team Evaloc prevailed as the winners.

1st place: Lochie Siow and Evan Nguyen (Year 5)
2nd place: Haseef Emad and Ruckshan Jayachakaran (Year 6)
3rd place: Edward Forbes and Edward Moss (Year 6).

Special mention also to the Year 4 team of Louis von Doussa and Emerson Cooper who placed 8th overall.

Please join me in congratulations all boys, including the three finalist teams who have been invited to participate in the National RoboCup Championships in Melbourne in October.

Colin Becker
Teacher – Junior School