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    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Robot competition nurtures Queensland’s future workforce

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Sunday, June 11, 2017

    Robot competition nurtures Queensland’s future workforce

    The coding skills of children as young as six will be challenged at Ipswich Central Library tomorrow (Monday) when primary students will program robots to dance, and outmanoeuvre competitors in the Robot Olympics.

    In teams of up to eight, students from Kruger State School, Leichhardt State School, Ipswich Grammar School and two home-school families will be given problems to solve and robots to program, as they compete in three separate challenges - and they will only have minutes to do it.

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the Robot Olympics was about preparing students for the future and the changing nature of work.

    “Competitions like the Robot Olympics are about giving kids the necessary tools and challenging their imagination and problem-solving skills, which will set them up for stronger career prospects down the track,” Ms Enoch said.

    “Operating robots requires skills in science, technology, engineering and maths, otherwise known as STEM, and it’s estimated that 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations require STEM-related skills and knowledge.

    “By supporting these coding competitions, the Palaszczuk Government hopes to change student ideas about STEM subjects and their career aspirations.

    “In Queensland, we’ve made coding and robotics a priority and introduced it into the curriculum for prep to Year 10 and already it’s becoming as easy as A, B, C for some young ones.

    “The Queenslanders who grow up with this new curriculum will not be left behind in the digital age and will have some of the world’s most sought-after skills,” she said.

    Member for Ipswich Jen Howard congratulated Ipswich Libraries on their successful Roving Robots outreach program which received $10,000 from the Palaszczuk Government through the State Library of Queensland Coding and Robotics grant, and on its culminating event the Robot Olympics.

    “It’s great to see another worthy community event focused on equipping Queenslanders for future jobs, being helped by a Palaszczuk Government initiative,” Ms Howard said.

    Ipswich City Councillor and Deputy Chair of Library and Youth and Seniors Kylie Stoneman said the Roving Robots program had made emerging technologies available to people of all ages and abilities and this was having a positive effect on Ipswich community’s digital skills and confidence.

    “The program has also reinforced that public libraries are creative community spaces and incubators of ideas, learning and innovation,” Ms Stoneman said.

    The Robot Olympics will run from 9.30am to 12.15pm. Prizes of robotics equipment will be awarded to the winning and runner-up teams, and all competitors will receive a participation certificate.


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