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St Cathode's robotics team with their robot at the FIRST Australia robotics competition
Published
26 July 2019

The St Cathodes gear up for the FIRST Robotics challenge 2019

Girls from St Catherine's school senior robotics team the 'St Cathodes' have been working furiously building their robot for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) being held in two weeks' time.

Competing for the third consecutive year, an eclectic group of student designers, engineers, mathematicians, programmers and business managers have been utilising their skills in a program that embodies the concept of experiential education.

With a different challenge each year, FRC teams are given six short weeks to strategise, plan, design, build and program a robot. It must be able to work together with other teams' builds to accomplish a range of tasks in a two-and-half minute match. With each year varying significantly, students are required to draw on a range of experiences and knowledge to be able to visualise and create an entirely new construct each year. 

FIRST stands For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology and is an international organisation inspiring students to participate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). St Catherine's girls from Kindergarten to Year 12 are involved at some level with the FIRST challenges whether it be the Lego League in Years 5 to 7, the Tech challenge for Years 8 to 10 or the flagship FRC event.

A large-scale robotics competition, the FRC brings together teams from all over the world in a competitive but sociable environment. By competing and challenging themselves the students learn valuable skills like teamwork, collaboration and public speaking while building technical, scientific and engineering knowledge. The competition is often described as the hardest fun you will ever have. And the St Cathodes love it!

Such is the popularity of the event, Old Girls from the school have kept up their involvement and will join the St Cathodes team as mentors providing an invaluable source of expertise for the team. Already pursuing careers in STEM, these girls are important role models for the students and a source of inspiration in a field where only 16 per cent of graduates are women.

St Catherine's is the only girls' school in the eastern suburbs to offer Engineering Studies for the HSC and along with the school's commitment to programs like the FRC and the thriving STEM program, St Catherine's girls are on track address that gender imbalance.

The FIRST Robotics Competition will be held over the weekend of 15, 16 and 17 March at Sydney Olympic Park.

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For more information contact:
Lauren Coetzee, Marketing and Communications Manager
St Catherine's School, Waverley
lcoetzee@stcaths.nsw.edu.au