Bundeena Public School pupils make a digital mark in coding at ANSTO

Top coders: Bundeena Public School pupils Zyren Case and Rosa Phelan (pictured far right) with their coding prizes.
Top coders: Bundeena Public School pupils Zyren Case and Rosa Phelan (pictured far right) with their coding prizes.

ANSTO Discovery Centre has crowned Bundeena Public School pupils as top coders, in a competition that rewards children for their knack of numbers

Zyren Case and Rosa Phelan joined more than 100 budding robotics engineers in the 2018 ANSTO Top Coder Competition, with the grand final held at ANSTO’s Lucas Heights campus.

Zyren Case and Rosa Phelan, took out ‘coder of the year’ in the year 6 division.

The theme of their project was ‘science in space’, where they took participants on a tour of the solar system.

Pupils worked with coding and robotics coaches, honing skills, developing ideas, applying their technical abilities and using creative and critical thinking skills to iron out any bugs they encountered along the way.

They took part in a series of challenges, building their skills and competency in code and construction as they prepared for a final challenge at the end of the day.

Children were required to develop an idea for a game, animation, art, music or story, and then put their coding skills to work to using the programming language ‘Scratch’.

“ANSTO’s Top Coder Competition nurtures the critical STEM and digital literacy skills that today’s students must develop in order to succeed in tomorrow’s world,” ANSTO chief executive Adi Paterson said.

“Developing Australia’s capabilities in science and technology will be critical for Australia’s productivity and to remain competitive on a global scale.

“We’re really impressed with the strength of the competition and the attention to detail from all teams, and look forward to seeing a bright future for these students.”

Seven of the eight winners this year were female students.

“It is absolutely exciting to see that when girls are encouraged into coding and robotics, areas that are traditionally the domain of boys, they not only match but excel with their capabilities,” Dr Paterson said. 

“We really hope that the careers of the future, the jobs that our Top Coder competitors may grow up to perform, will not only be driven by STEM subjects but are in industries with gender equity.

“ANSTO offers a range of education and outreach initiatives aimed at encouraging young girls and women to consider careers in STEM. We are committed to being part of the change from a young age.”

Caringbah, Grays Point, Oatley and Penshurst West primary schools also participated in the final.

All budding coders and engineers interested in learning more are invited to join ANSTO’s Discovery Centre school holiday technology workshops, delivered by accredited educators with experience in science, engineering, programming and robotics.