July 16, 2018
by Jillian Brown
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Exploring the Unknown: Victoria’s Nova Rover Team Competes at 2018 University Rover Challenge

After competing in the prestigious University Rover Challenge, Thomas Shiels, Operations Team Lead for Victoria’s Nova Rover Team, reflects proudly on the team’s journey and successes.

“Nova Rover Team is the first Australian Team to compete at the annual University Rover Challenge (URC). The URC is a competition where top university students from around the world compete to engineer an original rover for use on the surface of Mars. The URC competition is held at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah and is considered one of the most challenging robot competitions in the world due to the harsh terrain, the difficulty of the tasks, and the logistics of transporting equipment there. As a first-year team, we were delighted that our work and sacrifice placed us 14th out of the 96 teams who applied.

The team was founded in late 2016 after a group of six of us got together and decided that there were no outlets for students interested in space technology or Mars rovers. We made a detailed proposal to the Monash University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and were entrusted with funds and a workspace. We expanded our team to fifteen talented and ambitious students and many students reduced their course load or deferred their studies in order to give their all to the team. In order to make up for our relative lack of experience in building rovers, we decided to construct two rovers. Our first rover was shown off during Monash University Open Day 2017 and provided a way to test our suspension, motors, steering and control systems. After learning much from this prototype rover, we constructed our final competition rover which we designed to be easier to transport and more robust.

It was incredibly exciting to arrive at the Mars Desert Research Station and have our rover drive. A Mars rover is a rather complex robotic system, which can make it quite volatile in terms of issues and debugging. Fixing a problem usually isn’t too hard, but finding the problem is a real challenge when the device has so many layers of hardware, electronics and software to peel back. We learned that the key to building robust systems is to prototype, test, assess and redesign. We also learned that it is important to not only design for functionality, but to also design for convenient debugging and testing. It was this philosophy, and the willingness of team members to stay up late fixing problems, that allowed our rover to perform on the competition days.

With the recent founding of an Australian Space Agency, which seeks to forge partnerships with industry, we feel there is no better time to follow your passion for space and robotic technologies. Our position at Monash University has been solidified by our successes in Utah and we wish to include more students in our project going forward. We hope that Nova Rover Team continues at Monash University for many years and can provide the outlet for students with an interest in space and robotics to innovate and build their ideas. During the second half of 2018, we are planning to take our rover to schools and events and allowing students to control our rover using virtual reality. If you wish to get in contact with us about an outreach opportunity, please email novaroverteam@gmail.com.

Our successes would not have been possible without the financial support and faith of Monash University’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Science and Boeing Australia.”

 

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July 13, 2018
by rcrellin
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Waste away – the future of garbage

Free panel discussion

Waste away – the future of garbage

The EPA’s third annual National Science Week panel event topic for this year is Waste away – the future of garbage.

Waste has been a hot topic for Australia and Victoria over the last 18 months. Public debate has surrounded:

  • how we can reduce our waste at home
  • how business can assist in reducing waste, which has led to a plastic bag ban in Victoria and many bars banning plastic straws
  • waste stockpiling in Victoria
  • China’s ban on recycling imports
  • how we can repurpose waste, such as using waste to make other products, like road base, or using waste to produce energy.

This year they have gathered a panel of experts to discuss the future of Victoria’s and Australia’s waste. Is it truly waste or is it a wasted resource? Can science help us improve our waste reduction and management?

The panel discussion will be directed by questions posed by the audience, both in person and through the web-stream.

The panel includes:

  • Ms Ruby Chan, Inventor of ‘Moducware’
  • Mr Mark Glover, Director and CEO of Renewable Carbon
  • Mr Barry Sullivan, Business Development Manager, Renewables Downer Utilities Australia
  • Dr Trevor Thornton, Lecturer, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University.

Register now to join this public debate either in the live audience at the Melbourne Museum or by web-stream!

 

Thursday 16 August 2018


12:00 PM to 2:00 PM


Melbourne Museum
11 Nicholson Street
Carlton Vic 3053
View the map.


RSVP:
attend in person
OR
join event online (web-stream)

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July 6, 2018
by rcrellin
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Using Google Apps in your classroom

Schools can provide students and staff with access to Google Apps for Education online services at no cost through the Department. Professional learning sessions for Term 3 have been announced to help you get the most out of the software.

‘Getting Started’ Workshops

A full day workshop is available to support school leaders and teachers just starting out, as well as those who have been driving their own learning with G Suite. Participants are introduced to the key apps in the suite, presenting a school focused approach in their use for administration, learning and teaching. The workshop will provide tips and tricks, while discussing a holistic set up for different learning environments and settings.

Sessions dates and locations

  • 8 August – Castlemaine
  • 15 August – Flemington
  • 23 August – Corio
  • 18 September – Flemington

 

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June 19, 2018
by rcrellin
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Kids Conference 2018

This years Kids Conferece will be held 20th November 2018 at Australian Catholic University.

Do you think your kids would like to present?

The Kids’ Conference 2018 Workshop to be held on Tuesday 28th August hosted by The Royal Society of Victoria with Cultural Infusion.

This workshop aims to provide prospective facilitators and student presenters with an opportunity to bring History, Science Geography or English project ideas and develop them in preparation for the Kids’ Conference on 20th November 2018 at Australian Catholic University.

Please note places are strictly limited. Up to 5 students and 2 teachers per school can participate in the workshop program.

There will also be a dedicated session for teachers to support their facilitation role as a PD component of the workshop.  Please find attached a Guide, Flyers and please follow this link for further information: http://www.acu.edu.au/about_acu/faculties,_institutes_and_centres/education_and_arts/kids_conference

Registrations for this workshop open on 25th June and close on 7th August 2018.   You can register up to two staff and your nominated students (5) for the Workshop.

If you are unable to attend this workshop, but would like further information about the Kids’ Conference initiative, please feel free to contact Stephen Spain Convenor: stephenspain@acu.edu.au

 

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June 15, 2018
by rcrellin
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Mars2020

Our Guest blogger is Mark Gleeson from the Victorian Space Science Education Centre

Attention all potential interplanetary travellers!

Meet Adrian Brown. He’s the Deputy Program Scientist for Mars 2020, and his fields of research include astrobiology and remote sensing spectroscopy. He’s also an expert on Mars.

For one hour he will transport you to the Red Planet, and you will have the chance to fill the shoes of a Mission Controller from NASA.

Adrian completed his PhD studies at the Australian Centre for Astrobiology. If you are interested in his PhD research on hyperspectral mapping of ancient hydrothermal systems in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, you will find the web site, and many linked resources, here.

Session Details

Mars2020 – A behind the Scenes Look at the first aircraft carrier to Mars

Tuesday 10 July, 7:00 – 8:00pm

VIctorian Space Science Centre

400 Pascoe Vale Road

Strathmore

Find out more and register

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June 14, 2018
by rcrellin
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MSEdumeet

Prepare for an amazing day of learning, inspiration and play.

Microsoft Australia will be holding our brand new series of Educational Meets aka “MSEduMeets” across the country this year, aiming to accommodate a fantastic day of fun while learning, inspiring and playing with like-minded educators.

WHEN: Tuesday, 10 July, 2018 | 09:00 AM – 03:00 PM

WHERE: National Gallery of Victoria

First up, join one of the Learn sessions, run by teachers, for teachers, that will explore Microsoft technologies such as Minecraft, OneNote, Windows, Office 365, Teams for Education, STEM, and/or Skype in the Classroom. During this session you will explore a range of strategies, ideas and tools.

Then prepare for the Ignite sessions where teachers will showcase (in no more than 7 minutes) the amazing work they are doing in their classrooms and schools with Microsoft technologies. You will then have the opportunity to speak to at least one of those teachers during round-table Q&As.

We wrap it all up in the Play session where you will have a series of challenges to complete. There will be something for everyone from surviving the night in Minecraft to inventing with Micro:bit to 3D modelling, plus much more!

Find out more and register at: https://aka.ms/msedumeets

 

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June 12, 2018
by rcrellin
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Bringing the best children’s television into your classroom

Victorian DET teachers and students have access to some of the best Australian-made children’s television and curriculum resources developed by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation in the FUSE portal.

Make the most of the content by attending free professional learning at the fantastically creative offices of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation in Fitzroy.

Primary Teachers – download flyer

Secondary Teachersdownload flyer

 

 

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May 11, 2018
by rcrellin
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Cyber Victoria Schools Challenge Awards 2018

 

Details
Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
Federation Square, Melbourne
Wednesday, May 30, 2018,
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
This is a FREE event.
REGISTER AT: https://goo.gl/2kS2zt

Event Info
http://dayofstem.org/cyber-victoria/cyber-victoria-awards-may-30th/

Cyber Victoria Schools Challenge
http://www.dayofstem.com.au/cybervic.html

More information:
http://philipdalidakis.com.au/pdw/cyber-skills-for-every-victorian-classroom/
http://philipdalidakis.com.au/pdw/melbourne-well-on-its-way-to-being-cyber-ready/
 

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May 1, 2018
by rcrellin
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C3DIS Data Science Conference

C3DIS aims to build a national community of practice of scientists, researchers, and computing, data and information management specialists from publicly funded Australian research organisations.

Teacher and Student Engagement

Teacher Integrated STEM & Data Science Workshop

Date: Tuesday 29 May 2018

Time: Workshop: 09:30am – 4:30pm

STEM Data Visualisation Competition for Year 10-12 Students

Date: Wednesday 30 May 2018

Time: 10:00am – 2:00pm

Find out more and register

Data Intensive Science: From Astronomy to Zoology

An evening with four notable scientists exploring how science has changed: from empirical, to theoretical, to modern day computational and data exploration techniques. Each change has lead us to an increased understanding of the world around us, and has driven the development and use of revolutionary technologies.

Date: Wednesday 30 May 2018

Time: 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Find out more and register

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April 23, 2018
by rcrellin
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Virtual Classroom – National Privacy Week

Keeping your online self-safe – virtual classroom

  • Audience: Years 3, 4 and 5
  • Friday 18 May, 9:30am
  • Tuesday 22 May, 9:30am (repeat)

Celebrating the National Privacy week, this session is a call to action for students to keep their online self-safe by creating and updating their personal approach to online safety.

The online presentation will assist students to:

  • apply digital information security practices, and
  • apply personal security protocols

With the help of classroom teachers, the presentation will feature polling and interactive questions.

This 40min presentation will be a guided experience for classrooms with complementary resources aligned to the theme. Other related resources are available from the website.

More from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner

Register your class now

 

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