Hastings Secondary College community is exceptionally proud of our team’s SUCCESS and our INNOVATIVE and passionate teachers and staff who have guided and supported our students on this amazing journey of OPPORTUNITY.

What is the FIRST® Robotics Competition?

FIRST® is a not for profit charity founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. It is supported by Macquarie University and a number of sponsors in Australia.

The  FIRST® Robotics Competition is a large-scale robotics competition, bringing together students and mentors to build robots that perform in a competitive but gracious environment against teams from all over the world. In building their robot and doing all the other things that go with a competition, students learn valuable life skills like teamwork, collaboration, public speaking, technical science and engineering skills, and others.

In January 2017 the competition game was announced. Each year the game changes, so all teams build a new robot every year. Adding to the challenge, teams must complete building their robots mid-February, giving them just about six weeks to brainstorm, design, prototype, build, program and learn to drive a robot. The robots themselves are up to 6 ft. tall and weigh as much as 50 kgs. Robots work together to score points, play defence, and fend off other teams.

To build the robot during the short build season, teams must design and build mechanical, electrical and software controls systems, as well as integrate them all into one remote-controlled machine.

How did Hastings Secondary College get involved in the program?

Macquarie University supports the regional outreach program “Robots in the Outback” (sponsored by Google) and visited Hastings Secondary College, along with experts from the USA, on the late January 2017 to mentor our team.

How does the Robotics Competition work?

The game involves a simulated, steam powered airship, and the challenges include:

  • autonomous challenge (pre-programmed) time-period
  • collecting and delivering “fuel” to the boilers to build steam pressure
  • installing gears to engage rotors and
  • climbing aboard for lift off

View how the Robotics Competition works.

What the judges said about Hastings Secondary College’s Robotics team?

Rookie teams are generally encouraged to attempt only one of the four challenges, but Hastings 6508 prepared for the autonomous, gear installation and climbing challenges.

“This challenge is not an easy one for a rookie team but in the short-time this team has been here they have definitely made their presence felt. They impressed all the judges displaying all the spirit of FIRST with their fantastic approach to the whole competition all the time. Their engineering shows a level of maturity that makes them a team to watch out for in the future. The group is strong, their discussion excited and enthusiastic. They have taken their design to new levels; thinking about what they can do and what the universe can throw at them, to stop it happening, ratcheting up the competition. Their robot climbs with astounding energy that all members of the team display. This year’s winners of the Rookie All Stars Award is Hastings Secondary College, 6508”

Our lessons learnt as a Rookie Team in the 2017 First Robotics Competition