Beaudesert State High school project turns to robotics

WHAT was once a blank canvas has now turned into an array of colour on a fibreglass cow created by a Beaudesert school for the Art4Agriculture Archibull Prize.

Beaudesert State High School students and staff spent months creating a robotic cow while showing the importance of the cotton industry through artwork.

BSHS joined 29 other schools from New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria to compete in the program, which educates students about farming and natural resources.

As well as the artwork, schools are tasked with producing an online multimedia blog to document their learning.

Marking their first year competing in the Art4Agriculture Archibull Prize, teacher Laura Perkins said she challenged the school community in using robotics to drive their project.

“We wanted to do something that hasn’t been done before and to the best of my knowledge, no one has used robotics and no one has made it completely interactive,” she said.

“We have put seven different coloured lights on the bull’s eyes that will illuminate, the ears and tail will move and when someone presses one of the buttons on the bull, something is going to happen.

“It is very interactive – you’re not going to know what button does what until you actually come in, press it and become involved.”

Ms Perkins said the effects, including the lights and noises the bull would make, were programmed by students.

“This was a whole new experience for everyone,” she said. “Students who have never done robotics or soldering before were doing these things after a few crash courses from teachers.”

Ms Perkins said she was amazed at the number of students who became involved in the project.

“I had over 30 students from all year levels at once, coming during their lunch times, to help out with the cow,” she said.

“It’s great to see students are eager to learn and are excited whenever a new aspect of the cow is functioning – when the ears began moving, it ‘wowed’ them.”

Ms Perkins said different departments of the school came together and showed passion and team work during the project.

The cow will be displayed in several locations in the Scenic Rim before submitting the artwork on September 21.