Australian students are putting their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills to the test as part of a global robotics competition being held in Sydney.
The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is a worldwide competition that brings together students and mentors to build robots that will compete against other teams.
Australia is hosting two FRC competitions in 2017 – the Southern Cross Regional and the South Pacific Regional competition.
Opening the South Pacific regional competition, the Federal Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Craig Laundy, said the event helped students learn technical STEM skills, as well as valuable teamwork and public speaking skills.
“FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) designs programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills,” Mr Laundy said.
Through the Inspiring Australia–Science Engagement Programme, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has awarded sponsorship grants to support 89 students to attend FIRST events.
This includes sponsoring 26 students to attend the South Pacific Regional event.
“The government, via the National Innovation and Science Agenda, is investing more than $99 million from 2016-17 to 2019-20, to inspire participation and excellence in STEM among all Australians,” Mr Laundy said.
“This supports the broader goals of science engagement in Australia by inspiring wide community participation and excellence in STEM.”
“It was also great to see so many girls involved in the competition, which is a great sign for the STEM careers into the future.”