Gympie High science teacher Tony Grudzinski shows some of the robots his STEM students made.
Gympie High science teacher Tony Grudzinski shows some of the robots his STEM students made. Craig Warhurst

Local STEM students wow govt

ADVANCED Gympie State High School Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students are starting to make their own robots and have caught the eye of Queensland Government officials, which is great news for science teacher Tony Grudzinski.

The school’s Year 9 and 10 STEM students recently competed in the Maryborough RACQ Technology Challenge with some great results.

Mr Grudzinski said he was impressed the students came away from the challenge with a first, second and third in the junior robotics category.

He said the school’s STEM course had grown from one class of students last year to two classes of 42. “It’s getting quite popular,” he said.

The students learn advanced manufacturing process control systems, automation and remote data sensing which spiked the interest of Department of Industry and Tourism officials.

Mr Grudzinski said there was a chance a STEM outreach centre could be set up in Gympie to help create the manufacturing leaders of the future.

But funding and staffing were the biggest hurdles, he said.

A recent $2500 grant from BP’s Brisbane refinery was some help to continue the mostly hands-on class.

Students are now building their own power distribution centre using renewable energy like solar and hydrogen fuel cells for a model town they created.

About $6000 worth of grants were needed to see the course through the rest of the year, due to the cost of components.

GSHS head of science Eric Syme said the course catered for kids who wanted to be engineers.

Gympie Times

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