Gympie Year 7s have been given the chance to design a self-driving car as part of a USC program helping prepare them for the high-tech jobs of the future. Picture: Supplied
Gympie Year 7s have been given the chance to design a self-driving car as part of a USC program helping prepare them for the high-tech jobs of the future. Picture: Supplied

Gympie Year 7s prepare for jobs that don’t exist yet

AN INNOVATIVE program designed to help prepare students to study for jobs which don’t even exist yet has been rolled out in Gympie.

More than 20 Gympie Year 7 students have been given the chance to build and program a self-driving model car, as part of USC’s Make, Integrate, Explore school program.

Over two days the students joined together at Mary Valley State College and, using gadgets such as electrical circuits and sensors, they got to work.

They were tasked with designing and assembling motorised, autonomous model cars, and developing coding and algorithms to program the vehicles into navigating a maze.

The activity was designed to give students an understanding of what designing and programming a real self-driving car would be like, as the MIE program aims to prepare students for the high-tech jobs of the future.

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A USC spokesperson said the MIE program was developed to provide students with opportunities to participate in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) activities, which are linked to the Australian school curriculum.

USC Associate Lecturer in Education Natalie McMaster said the concept used engaging,

hands-on technology to encourage students to develop skill sets in tune with the digital age.

“With the increasing role of technology in the workplace and in the future, experiences such

as this help prepare young students for jobs that don’t exist yet,” she said.

“We are encouraging them to imagine and consider future careers in science, technology,

engineering, arts and mathematics,” Ms McMaster said.

MIE School is partly funded though the Australian Government’s Higher Education

Participation and Partnerships Program which aims to increase participation in tertiary

education.

The two-day Gympie program finished yesterday afternoon, with the young students presenting their models to a judging panel made up of USC academics and industry experts from the Gympie region.

Gympie Times


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