When Angie Melville – who is the program coordinator for LEAP Robotics at Macquarie University – challenged St Gertrude’s Catholic Primary School pupils to enter the recent Rookie Replay Lego League challenge, they jumped at the chance.

And the school’s first foray into the FIRST Lego league has been a successful one.

A group of students from Years 4-6 took up the opportunity and formed a team to promote the ‘Gertie Get up and Go’ app.

Supported by their own teachers and from their network high school Patrician Brother’s College, Fairfield, students used their time to experiment and grow their critical thinking, coding and design skills to build and move a robot to solve missions on the Lego League Replay playfield.

They collaborated on an innovation project, with the theme of ‘How to get children moving’. They conceptualised and proposed an interactive game where students physically move around in an online game to score points.

Their efforts were rewarded with the robot performance and breakthrough awards.

St Gertrude’s principal Linda Katisbras said: “Some of these students had never seen, let alone coded or used robotics to push, pull and move lego pieces on the playfield.”

Mrs Katsibras likened the Lego League core values to those of St Gertrude’s. “Discovery, inclusion, innovation, teamwork, impact and fun are all things we promote in our school community,” she said.

On Thursday, August 12, the students and staff were joined by Prospect MP Hugh McDermott for a virtual awards ceremony. Students spoke about their key learnings from taking part in the challenge and were awarded digital certificates.

“It is important during this period of remote learning to continue to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts and achievement of our students and the Zoom provided us an online platform to do this,” Mrs Katsibras said.

Read the original article: St Gertrude’s Catholic Primary School put the pieces together