The Advocate – May 22, 2018: Students put their engineering skills and understanding of physics to the test as part of a new career pathways program.
P-TECH is an international initiative where schools and industries unite to prepare students for the technology-inspired careers of the future.
About 230 grade 9 students from Parklands, Burnie and Yolla high schools are being inducted into P-TECH with activities including a Lean thinking workshop, visits to local industries and programming of a cardboard robot.
They’ll also develop a Rube Goldberg machine, contraptions where dominoes, rolling balls, seesaws and other materials are set up to cause an elaborate chain reaction.
P-TECH industry liaison officer for greater Burnie Mark Shelton said creating Rube Goldberg machines was all about developing creativity and critical thinking skills.
“There are no instructions to what they’re doing. They starting from scratch and sort of inventing as they go along,” Mr Shelton said.
“They’re having a good time, engaging with the topic in a good way and they’re certainty coming up with some good ideas.”
Hayley Beamish was one of two dozen Burnie High School students that built Rube Goldberg machines at a ‘Welcome to P-TECH’ session on Tuesday.
“It had been good. It’s a bit of a challenge,” she said.
The grade 9 students will participate in other activities throughout 2018 as part of a P-TECH “immersion year”.
They’ll then have the opportunity in 2019 to earn vocational qualifications in engineering/advanced manufacturing or agriculture/food science.
Elphinstone Group, Jayben Australia, Maltec Engineering, TasFoods and Lion are some of the local businesses that have signed up to P-TECH.
The Australian government invested $5.1 million to pilot P-TECH at 14 locations across the country.