About and Joining Metal Minds

A brief overview of Metal Minds Robotics Inc.

  Metal Minds Robotics Inc.  

Started 5 years ago by Harry (then 15) with his friends, Damon, Alex, Emma and Matthew and their two mentors Jon and Bruce. Today Metal Minds has grown and has around 17 members and seven mentors.     Our club has also won several awards.  We have two tiers,  FLL (FIRST Lego League) and the FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) club.

Read more about the founding members in Issue 83 of the Tasmanian magazine 40 Degree South.

We are completely independent and self-funded.  We take the FTC team to Sydney to compete each year and fundraise to get the team there,  as well as buying extra parts to build the unique competition robots.  The FLL team take part in the state competition in Launceston

Joining the club

Before a child can join our club we ask that they attend one of our summer workshops held during Jan/Feb to get a taster of what we do.   A child must be 10 years of age or over to attend the workshops.  In February of each year, we offer places to existing members first and any spaces that become available thereafter are offered to a child who is on our waiting list, is over 10 years of age and as attended one of our summer workshops.

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@


Our Goals

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.
  • Nathan Smallbon (22).FLL Mentor. 4th Year Computer Science Engineer at UTas.
  • Alex Mountney (23)  Mechatronics Engineer for SAGE Automation.  Founding Team Member current  FTC Mentor
  • Andrew Adams. Parent and FLL team 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 and see the FTC Team robots in action.

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:  Simon, Andrew and Jon G.  Assisted where required by Nathan

Public Officer: Jon Heathcote. SAGE Automation
Chair: Andrew Adams
Vice Chair: Simon Wiggins. Avidity Training
Secretary: Kathryn Heathcote. admin@metalmindsrobotics.com
Treasurer: Wendy Mountney.    treasurer@metalmindsrobotics.com
Committee Members:
Fundraising: Belinda Gardner.    fundrasing@metalmindsrobotics.com
Eileen Stevenson
Simon Wiggins
Jon Guest





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