About and Joining Metal Minds

A brief overview of Metal Minds Robotics Inc.

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  Metal Minds Robotics Inc.  

Started 5 years ago by Harry (then 15) with just 5 team members and 2 mentors, we now have 17 members, several mentors and three teams.     Our teams have also won several awards.  We have two FLL (FIRST Lego League) teams and a FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) Team.  An FRC team is in the pipeline.

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

We are completely independent and self funded.  We travel to Sydney and Hobart each year to compete and fundraise to get the teams there,  as well as buying extra parts to build the  unique competition robots.

Joining the teams

Before a child can join our teams 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 avaiable 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, and presentation skills
Participate in 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 window of time.
To hold workshops to enable children to experience taster sessions on what we do.
To encourage the students to hold presentations about the team to schools, community groups and officials. 

The team and mentors past and present

  • Harry Heathcote (19) 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. Parent. FLL Mentor. Specialises in NXT/EV3 and Robot C Programming.
  • Simon Wiggins. Parent. Avidity Training and Development Launceston. FLL Mentor
  • Nathan Smallbon (21) 3rd Year Computer Science Engineer at UTas. FLL Mentor
  • Alex Mountney (22) 4th Year Mechatronics Engineer at Utas. Founding Team Member current  FTC Mentor
  • Andrew Adams. Parent and FLL team mentor.
  • 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.
  • Dr Bruce Pearce.  Particle Physicist.  FTC Mentor
  • Nicholas Pearce (20) 2nd year IT student at Utas. Past Team Member. 2016 
  • Emma Hodgkinson. She designed the teams logo. Founding Past Team Member. 2016
  • Damon Ercole  Founding past Team Member. 2015
  • Matthew Pearce  Founding past Team Member. 2014

Our Teams

FRC_Logo.svg FIRST Robotics Competition. FRC.  14- 18 years of age.
Coming Soon 

FTCFIRST Tech Challenge Team.  FTC. Up to 18 years of age.

  • Mentored by:  Jon H, Harry, Jon G, Joeby and AMCAT Students at AMC

FLL    FIRST Lego League Team.  FLL.  10- 13/14 years of age

  • Mentored by: Ray. Harry, Simon, Nathan & Andrew

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:
Social Media: Jess Guest.              social-media@metalmindsrobotics.com
Fundraising: Belinda Gardner.    fundrasing@metalmindsrobotics.com
Eileen Stevenson.
Robert Leighton.
Simon Wiggins.
Kate Adams
Jon Guest 





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