A brief overview of Metal Minds Robotics Inc.
Metal Minds Robotics Inc.
Started in 2013 by Harry with his friends, Damon, Alex, Emma and Matthew and their two mentors Jon and Bruce. Today Metal Minds has grown and has around 20 members and several mentors. Our club has also won several awards. We have two tiers, FLL (FIRST Lego League) and the FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) club.
We aim to take our FTC team to Sydney to compete each year. The FLL team take part in the state competition in Launceston/Hobart which we co-host.
Competing in competition is dependent on funding and engagement of the student.
Want to join us?
For a child to join our club they must be 10 years or older. Our intake is in February, we offer places to existing members first and any spaces that become available thereafter are offered to a child on our waiting list. It is preferable that children 10 – 13 years have some experience programming an EV3/ using Lego Technic and children over 14 years have some experience using hand tools, maths and/or programming Java.
Team members are expected to fully engage in the program and undertake any homework and research set by the mentors. We offer a couple of taster sessions for a small fee. If a student disengages or becomes disinterested regularly the mentors will contact the parents and discuss if robotics is the right thing for them and whether they should continue.
Off season is February to July. Competition season is August to December. During the off season students are taught all the things such as, design, programming, teamwork that cannot be done in the short window of time once the competition season starts.
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We have yearly subscriptions to assist with the running of the club. The subscriptions do not cover all the team’s costs and costs such as travel and accommodation to the national competitions are in addition. Subscriptions are payable in full or in 3 payments. All subscriptions are expected to be paid by the end of the financial year (June). Subscriptions are non-refundable.
We mentor children from 10- 18 years in program, design, CAD and build of robotics using Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Research challenges facing today’s scientists
Design, build, test and program robots.
Apply real-world math and science concepts
Learn critical thinking, team-building, public speaking and presentation skills
Participate in public events, tournaments and celebrations
Understand and practice Gracious Professionalism@
Metal Minds goal each year is to teach children how to work together, to teach them to treat each other as equals, whether that is their teammate, ally or their opponent.
We aim to take the children to competition each year, after several months of workshops and coaching to bring them up to competition standard.
Our mentors are all volunteers. They are also learning new techniques and challenges as the workshops evolve and the software and challenges change.
We encourage the children to speak up, to think for themselves, to look at what they are doing and evaluate how it went… if it worked, what did they do right and if it didn’t why? Even in competition, they need to be able to think on their feet and work it out in a short time frame.
To hold workshops to enable children to experience taster sessions on what we do.
To encourage the students to hold presentations about the club to schools, community groups and officials.
Meet the mentors
- Harry Heathcote (20) Queen’s Scout. Founder. FTC and FLL Mentor
- Jon Heathcote. Lead FTC Mentor is a Software Electrical and Automation Engineer for SAGE Automation Tasmania.
- Ray McNamara. FTC Mentor. Specialises in NXT/EV3 and Robot C Programming.
- Simon Wiggins. Parent and FLL Mentor. Avidity Training and Development Launceston.
- Alex Mountney (23) Mechatronics Engineer for SAGE Automation. Founding Team Member current occasional FTC Mentor
- Andrew Adams. Parent and Lead FLL Mentor. Background in Marketing and Engineering
- AMCAT Students from the Australian Maritime College. Mentoring FTC in CAD and Programming
- Listen to the team being interviewed.
Founding and past members
- Dr Bruce Pearce. Particle Physicist. FTC Mentor
- Emma Hodgkinson. She designed the teams logo. Founding Past Team Member. 2013- 2016
- Damon Ercole Founding past Team Member. 2013- 2015
- Matthew Pearce Founding past Team Member. 2013- 2014
- Nicholas Pearce. Past Team Member. 2013- 2015
Our Club consists of
FIRST Tech Challenge Team. FTC. 13/14 – 18 years of age.
- Mentored by: Jon H, Harry and Ray assisted where required by Alex and AMCAT Students at AMC
FIRST Lego League Team. FLL. 10- 13/14 years of age
- Mentored by: Andrew and Simon. Assisted by Harry where required
Vice Chair: Simon Wiggins. Avidity Training
Secretary: Kathryn Heathcote. firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer: Wendy Mountney. email@example.com
Public Officer: Jon Heathcote. SAGE Automation
Fundraising: Waheedha Basheer. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hayden W. FTC representative
Warren Kinman (Grants)
David Pretorius. TASICT and CEO for Eaglecrest Technologies
Michael Preece. Director Strategic Advantage