Work experience at YRTS

July 30, 2021

Yarra Ranges Tech School is a STEM-focused entity, which engages students to be prepared for above and beyond the years of 2021.

This update will highlight the journey of Victor (Technology Support and Maintenance Officer YRTS), and Stefen (work experience student), from Kew High School. Stefens journey at YRTS took him through technology fit for the Star Ship Enterprise and after his week of work experience Stefen now has knowledge like the Vulcans.

Stefen’s work experience started on a light note, where he was shown what goes on at YRTS. From day 1 Stefen was like any other member of the team due to his go getter attitude and friendly manner. Day 1 for him, was all about understanding what YRTS has on offer and what would fit well within his interests for today and also his future career.

As a team, Victor and Stefen started their day with OHS work throughs, making sure his space was safe and free of any conquering robots, Sky net agents and Klingons. We made sure that Stefen, as a visitor on-site, was fully aware of safety in the work place as well as how to make reports when he saw any issues, making sure the YRTS warp engine was fully stable.

Day 2, Stefen started work on building an automated farming system, the Farmbot – the farmer who doesn’t sleep at all. Farmbot is an open-source project agriculture CNC farming project where technology meets the soil. The project aims to teach everyone, even people who manage to not look after cactus, about efficient farming. It is an automated and multi-functional robot, with the ability to plant seeds, look after them and water them, weed them and even taking plant selfies each to monitor growth progress of the plants.

The followers of the selfies are many who visit YRTS (with a blue tick of approval on Instagram if an account went up), who are aided in learning about plant growth, all the way forms tiny seed to when  they the large healthy salad lunch bowl, for the hungry YRTS staff.

Bringing the Farmbot to life started with unboxing and verification of the inventory, making sure none of the parts had been magically summoned or beamed away.  Next was to build it by segments (an indoors engineering room level task), screwing and tightening each nut and bolt. The crucial part was measuring the farm bed area to make sure the Farmbot fit perfectly like it had always been there.

Finally, individual segments were installed as one whole Farmbot, bringing the farmbot together as farmer on wheels, wheels which moved around as freely and without any hobbles. Next the wiring was double checked, before turning it on. This whole process of building the Farmbot for Stefen and Victor went at Warp speed 10, and took only a week to complete.

In addition to building the Farmbot, Stefen had the opportunity to go on away missions where he learnt the use of CAD (Computer-Aided Design), to create and 3D print his own design. A tech straight out of starship enterprise, (PS he did also see a food 3D printer at YRTS, which uses chocolates to make 3 prints). He had the joy to visit other world using the VR headset, Oculus Rift, building new worlds in Minecraft VR, assisting an AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot) to learn about it surrounding and enable it to move freely around the YRTS spaces.

Added to that Stefen was the pilot of the hour, safely landing planes in the flight simulator at the Box Hill Institute Elgar campus (which YRTS is part of).  Using his futuristic skills, Stefen welded steel using Augmented Reality, checked the robot conveyor belt, and last but not least, also got a taste of how a CSOC (Cyber Security Operation Centre) operates, a feat that kept him calm and knowing that the future with tech is safe from Sky net and terminators.

All in all, we are highly confident that Stefen’s journey to the future and back was highly productive and safe to say, Sky net had no knowledge of Stefen’s trip.