Five students from South George Town Primary School have celebrated a winning project to build penguin boxes for the Low Head area as part of a university program to help re-establish the “Little Penguin” colony.
As part of this successful program, the students partnered with Port Dalrymple School to incorporate a method to record the usage of the boxes to determine how often they were being visited.
The schools had been provided with Bitlink Internet of Things (IoT) kits as part of a project funded through the Launceston City Deal, which is a partnership between the Australian Federal Government, the Tasmanian Government and the Launceston City Council.
This project also included funding to run an IoT Ideas Competition for schools asking student teams to prepare a short video outlining their idea for an IoT innovation that could improve lives in a way that aligns with the four competition themes: smart homes, smart farms, smart cities, and smart schools.
Using one of the supplied BBC micro:bit mini computers, former students Delilah Axton, Mason Johnson, Aiden McKay and Isabella Rigby (now at Port Dalrymple), and current student Oliver Clark designed, coded and assembled a digital counter that could be easily retro-fitted to the penguin boxes.
Using a 3D printed enclosure housing the micro:bit computer, batteries and a motion sensor, the students successfully incorporated science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and design into their solution.
The students also submitted their finished product into the IoT competition in the ‘Smart Cities’ category which involved preparing a video presentation and a written report detailing their planning, designing and coding journey.
The five students spent many hours of both class and their own time in preparing a polished presentation which was awarded first place in the greater Launceston area, outperforming teams from both public and private schools. This success carried with it an award of $1200 for our school, and $400 to be split equally among the five students.
Nick Duigan, Member for Windermere congratulated the students on their outstanding success.
“This is a great example of our students using modern technology to help solve a local issue and hopefully to help protect the “Little Penguins’’ which are not only part of the local ecology but also a tourism attraction.