January 2020 has started with a flurry for the team at Yarra Ranges Tech School. Our building works have begun to refresh and expand the learning and front of house areas of the Tech School in Building LB. Upon completion of these works an additional 4 learning spaces and a fully flexible presentation and exhibition space will be added to the Tech School.
While these works were going on we also continued to work closely with the Yarra Ranges Council and the Easter Region Library Service to provide activities for the broader community.
On the 16th of January 20 students participated in a 3D printing holiday program learning about precision manufacturing. It was fantastic to see students departing the Tech School with their own designed and printed 3D objects. These programs provide an opportunity to showcase the Tech School and its program to a broader community audience and we are planning many more programs over 2020.
Our School holiday program was followed a little under a week later by the Beat the Heat Family Fun Day. We were extremely pleased to participate in this event where we ran a series of workshops focused on robots and autonomous vehicles, Virtual Reality and Precision Manufacturing for both children and adults. In addition to the workshops we hosted several tours over the course of the day and had an absolute ball. Our sincere thanks to the Eastern Regional Libraries for inviting us to be part of the day.
Yarra Ranges Tech School is now part of the Bees with Backpacks joint project between CSIRO Data 61, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong Tech Schools focused on tracking and monitoring bees from our hives at the Lilydale Lakeside campus. Our initial work involved setting up a new entry way for the bee hive, creating a portable renewable power solution and then placing small RFID chips (backpacks) on bees with in the hive. As bees move in and out of the entry their RFID is registered allowing our students and researchers to understand whether bees and leaving or returning to the hive and how long between entry’s and exits. This project and the resultant data sets will be combined with data from hives globally to better understand these critically important insects. In the second half of 2020 students will be able to undertake the Bees with Backpacks program at Yarra Ranges Tech School.
February has seen our partner schools attending programs including our new Year 7 Introduction to Technology Design Thinking Program aimed at introducing Year 7 students to the core technologies and underlying methodology of Yarra Ranges Tech School. This program also works to build teamwork and communication skills that students will carry on in their future schooling and of course visits to the Tech School.