Goulburn Valley students had a rare opportunity yesterday.ESTELLE GRIEPINK April 3, 2014 6:23am
Tinkering with technology: Mooroopna Secondary College pair Zane Howell-Sanders, 12, Zayne Gilbert, 11, at yesterday's Google robotics workshop in Shepparton.
A dream job at the famed Google headquarters is a little more attainable for a group of Goulburn Valley Indigenous students.
This is after they were offered the rare chance to meet with representatives from the tech giant.
Rumbalara Football Netball Club and Google Australia hosted a robotics workshop in Shepparton yesterday to encourage students to think about careers in science, technology, engineering and maths. The University of Melbourne and its Shepparton Academy of Sport, Health and Education facilitated the pilot program.
The students from Wanganui Park Secondary College, Mooroopna Secondary College, Shepparton High School and Notre Dame College’s McAuley Champagnat Programme were given the materials to build their own robots from scratch.
The aspiring tech whizzes programmed the robots themselves and took them for a spin through a series of mazes.
Notre Dame College McAuley Champagnat Programme participant Will Newling said he was surprised at his own abilities.
‘‘I didn’t think I’d be able to program,’’ Will, 15, said.
‘‘It’s so cool that Google has come here, it’s awesome.’’
Fellow participant Tyrone Wandin said working with the robots had opened his eyes to different career options.
‘‘I want to do something with football, but somewhere down the track I might do something with science and computers,’’ Tyrone, 16, said.
‘‘It’s been really fun today, making them turn left and right, I’ve enjoyed it.’’
Rumbalara Football Netball Club president Paul Briggs described the workshop as ‘‘an introductory handshake with Google.’’
‘‘We’re looking at the capacity to take it beyond the club, out into the mainstream education pathways in the Goulburn Valley area,’’ Mr Briggs said.
‘‘It’s really exciting to have the conversation about young Aboriginal people considering opportunities in engineering and robotics at such an early age.’’
Google engineering community and outreach manager Sally-Ann Williams said the tech giant wanted to raise awareness about the importance of digital skills.
‘‘We know that every single career in the future is going to have a computer science basis to it, be it music, art, radio, anything, there’s just a real demand for digital skills,’’ Ms Williams said. ‘‘We wanted to come up to Shepparton and help build some programs with the local community so we can get these kids excited and thinking about what their careers can be in this space.’’
ASHE manager Leonie Dwyer said she was pleased to see the students enjoying themselves while learning about technology.
‘‘To have a connection to Google is just awesome — and the kids are feeling inspired and really proud of themselves,’’ Ms Dwyer said.
The late Margaret 'Dharrul' Wirrpanda has joined Mooroopna's Alf 'Uncle Boydie' Turner as an inductee this year into the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll.
Paradise Queen owner Travis Smith is preparing to take on hundreds of runners at this year’s Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival to be held on October 18-19.
Goulburn Valley Fins and Fenders Car Club is getting ready to host its second annual Show and Shine event at Tatura Racecourse on Saturday, October 18.
Residents are being warned they could face severe penalties if out of control burn-offs damaged someone else’s property.
The Nanneella hall and recreation reserve committee is inviting everyone to join its clearance sale on October 25.
National Party ticket up for grabs
Developer of the Elloura estate wants to build another road to Buckley Park among other changes.
Terry Hogan has stood down as Mayor of Jerilderie Shire due to an ongoing battle with cancer.
Heathcote Community House staff are encouraging people to send a postcard to show their support.
Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs Tim Bull visits Cobram to assist councils and incumbent MP.
Keen Deni Ute Muster fans rolled into town early for the weekend's event.
The only consistent thing about frost damage in crops was its random nature, a cropping expert told his field day audience at Finley last Friday.
Last week's Coledale poll dorset stud ram sale was the best in the stud's 45-year history.
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