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The Season

Team Epic learned the importance of water in 2017.

Why Do You Come to Robot Obedience School Robotic Minivators?

This is what Team Epic had to say:

  • To build
  • To learn
  • To be a robotic engineer
  • To be amazing in robotics
  • To be a team
  • To commit
  • To make new friends
  • To have fun
  • To learn new skills
  • To cooperate
  • To be innovative and imaginative
  • To learn about water use

 What a fantastic bunch of kids!

Name That Team!

In the first lesson, the team members were introduced and worked on getting to know each other. The team also brainstormed for team names, before voting to select "Team Epic!" The next step was for each team member to draw up some artwork for the team name, and then everyone voted to select the team logo. The final artwork was drawn in Inkscape by the team coach, keeping with the graphic elements designed by the team members.


The PlayPump Story

The students learned about the PlayPump, a system for providing water in remote places where water access is difficult. The kids were amazed at the innovative solution to the water problem. They also learned about what happens when people have only dirty water to drink, and what happens when the water must be fetched from a long way away. The team learned how lives are changed, particularly for the girls, by the provision of easily accessible safe drinking water.

The team was also very excited to build the inspire model, which is a working pump! The students build together, with each team member having a defined role: piece finder, builder, checker. This fosters teamwork. One of the things that the students discovered is that the motor must turn in the correct direction to pump the water, otherwise the pump will jam. They learned how to program the pump motor to turn in the correct direction.


Choose Your Water Use

The team talked about the various ways that they had all used water that day and the day before, to make a list of various water uses. From this list, each team member chose one water use and built a small model to illustrate this use. After 5 minutes of building, each team member shares what they have built with the group, explaining their model. This process is used many times to build communication skills. The team then voted to select one water use to focus on, and came to select watering the garden.

The team built Milo the Science Rover. They really enjoyed this part, especially when they used programs to bring Milo to life! They particularly enjoyed discovering that the coach is afraid of Milo the Science Rover, and so they started to drive Milo to chase the freaked out coach around the room!

Follow Your Water's Journey

The team learned about the technologies used to capture, transport and purify water on its journey to them at a high level.


The team also worked to improve their Milo rovers, by adding a switch that controls the direction that it moves. They had to alter their program to make the switch have the required effect!


Our Robotic Minivators team mentor, who is also a member of our Team Robotic Innovators, found that he was able to combine multiple motorised pumps into a crazy fun contraption that spits out water droplets after a tangled journey!

Be An Engineer

Students learned the Explore -> Create -> Test -> Share process. They explored the problem of trying to pump water droplets 15cm from the pump output. A few solutions were explored, and one was created and tested. The students worked very hard to get this together.


Improve Your Water's Journey

The students studied water waste, and did a build on ways that people could use less water. This build shows a garden sprinkler system being checked and repaired so that it works properly.

The team also brought together their research into existing solutions, and brainstormed for new ideas. The flexitanium hose idea first appeared during this session.



Plan Your Team Model

From this point we turned from learning to planning our team model to communicate what Team Epic! had learned. The team got busy constructing the elements that would be required. We also discovered that one team member was afraid of the Robot Obedience School mascot! We are pleased to report that she got over her fear by the end of the season!




Build Your Team Model

After two frantic sessions of building, the team model was completed. The team were very proud of their accomplishment!


After completing the team model, we had to test that it fitted in the box to take it to the expo. The students got the idea that it would be cool to see if they would fit in the box too, so most of them had a turn trying it out just for fun! Things aren't all serious at Robot Obedience School!



Make your Poster

The team started planning how the poster would look before doing any work on it.


Prepare to Share

When the poster was completed, there was just a brief time to practise sharing what the team had learned over the season. What an amazing team model and Poster Team Epic has put together!



Expo at Macquarie University

The day of the Expo came all too quickly, but Team Epic! were ready!



The team model showed the team's chosen water use: watering the garden, and how the water gets there. The model also includes flexitanium hoses that don't leak.


 A team member explains the model and the poster to visitors, and the general scene at the expo.


 Team Epic won the Hole-in-One Award! What a proud moment!


Thanks are due to several contributors who made this season such a great adventure for Team Epic in 2017:

  • Oliver Stanley assisted as a mentor.
  • Lea Neal taught many of the classes and those she didn't teach, she assisted with.
  • Tammy Stanley helped to type up assemble the Show Me poster.
  • All the parents for being so patient when we couldn't get the kids out on time!
  • All the students in Team Epic for the fantastic effort they put in to get such a great result!
  • Jasmin Hilleard at Thales Australia for sponsoring Robot Obedience School and providing the fabulous team shirts. Thales employ many engineers, and are keen get the next generation interested in STEM career paths!

  • Vinodh Natarajan at Solutions Telecommunications Consulting provided one complete set of WeDo 2.0, tablet and Inspire kit. Awesome!

How to Get Involved

Get your child involved in our awesome Robotic Minivators program!