Workshop Details...

STEM Workshop in Hobart, March 2nd 2017, sponsored by Google Australia.

This Workshop has been delivered. We leave this notice here to provide an indication of the type of content we hope to offer later in the year.

We are very grateful for a generous grant from Google that will allow us to offer a free STEM & Digital Technology workshop in Hobart on 2nd March 2017.

The workshops will be presented by Ying Chen of the University of Tasmania, with assistance from Dr. Graeme Faulkner. Click here to see pdf flyer giving more detailed information; a Word version of the registration form is here. These workshops follow on from our successful workshops that Google kindly sponsored in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

 This workshop will be an updated version of the workshops presented in Burnie and Launceston in late 2016. The Hobart workshop had originally been scheduled in November 2016, however TasITE subsequently scheduled a Hobart STEM workshop the day before our Hobart date, so rather than have two workshops on a similar topic on succeeding days, we moved our Hobart workshop to 2nd March, 2017.

Workshop Format.

This half-day workshop is planned to allow participants to take part in hands-on beginner-level experiences with Robomatter's new Scratch-like "Graphical RobotC" combined with on-screen "Virtual Robotics" Tutorials developed by Carnegie Mellon University. These excellent tutorials have the potential to be the lowest-cost initial approach to robotics in a digital technology curriculum. Programs written under this system can be run and tested in on-screen "virtual environments". Although it is not essential, if the school has either VEX IQ or LEGO NXT/EV3 robots, these RobotC programs can be downloaded into these physical robots for untethered real-life robotics experiences.

We will also cover new developments in Educational Robotics, and will show examples of the VEX IQ, the new Spartan Robot which has been announced as being donated to the Tasmanian Education Department, a MATRIX robot, a Raspberry Pi GoPiGo robot, two "Little Bits" electronics demonstration kits, and an Edison V2 Robot. It is anticipated that the experience of attending the workshop will assist those who have an interest in IT teaching to think about extending their Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics curriculum teaching by incorporating fun robotics activities. The workshop is appropriate for any teachers, training teachers or volunteers associated with Grades 3 - 10 who would like to try out the fundamentals of the new "Scratch-like" Graphical RobotC programming, and to have a look at these robots. No previous programming experience is necessary. Some familiarity with the Windows operating system is desirable.

Workshop Cost.

Because of Google's kind support, attendance at these workshops will be free.


Ying Chen is a lecturer in Information Systems in the University of Tasmania. Her practical robotics experience extends over three quarters of a decade, encouraging her daughter Yaya Lu's LEGO robotics work in Primary and Secondary Schools, which has resulted in Yaya's State, Australian and RoboCup World firsts, Yaya's accepted paper in an International IEEE Bioengineering Conference in Thailand, her BHP-Billiton winning Engineering award resulting in her representing Australia in the 2013 Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona, USA where she gained a first citation, and her Tuckwell Scholarship at the ANU (see ).

Dr. Graeme Faulkner is currently retired after half a century working in Engineering organizations, and teaching Engineering and Computer Science subjects at various Schools and Universities. He first taught robotics in the early 1980s, using the first commercially available educational robot, the Tasman Turtle. Since retiring, he has been a voluntary mentor assisting teachers in a variety of schools, and acted as mentor to local, State, Australian and World winning RoboCup teams from Tasmania.

Ying, Yaya and Graeme have produced resources that assist teachers to use robotics as part of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Education in Primary and Secondary Schools. In 2012 free beginner-level LEGO MindStorms NXT-G robotics video tutorials on the web site drew millions of hits from 158 countries, with Google Translate reporting translations into 40 languages. In 2013 these hits increased by 50%, and our team produced to make free LEGO MindStorms EV3-G robotics tutorials for "Absolute Beginners" available worldwide on YouTube and at the Udemy MOOC site ,  serving over 10,000 Udemy students, with over 600,000 views on YouTube, the students coming from over 7/8 of the world's countries. The team has also run Adult Education and University robotics workshops, as well as workshops for special interest groups and assisted teachers in many school robotics programs.

Ying and Graeme hope to use their combined experience to present down-to-earth, practical, and hopefully entertaining workshops encouraging users to have hands-on experiences with robots, virtual and real.

Registering for a Workshop.

Registration for these workshops is via this form. You can register early interest by email to , making sure STEM 2017 is in your email's subject heading.

Thanks to Google

Both presenters wish to express their gratitude to Google, as these workshops could not be offered if it were not for the support from this generous company and their STEM programme.

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