We are a small group that have had a mission of spreading technical knowledge and enthusiasm among young students. Noting the world-wide shortage of Engineers with the skills to tackle the technical problems associated with global warming, and noting that in Western Countries, over 90% of Chartered Engineers are male, we developed a particular interest in encouraging girls to develop an interest by having fun with robotics. We started the LEGO robotics aspect of this program in 2006 as a follow-up for one of our group (who had taught robotics with the Tasman Turtle in the early 1980s). We have supplied free age-appropriate robotics tutorials, which, with no promotion, grew to millions of hits by 2012 from over 150 countries with Google Translate reporting translation of web pages into 40 languages. In early 2014 we added the new LEGO EV3 to our tutorials, and had over half a million views from students from 7/8 of the world's countries, together with over 8,800 students who were attracted to an on-line EV3 mini-MOOC on Udemy. Currently we are experimenting with supplying our tutorials in the form of eBooks, aiming to make them more accessible to the different screen sizes of smartphones and tablets, and well as the traditional desktops.
Ying Chen has had an interest in LEGO robots and robotics since 2006, working quietly in the background to help and guide her group in efforts to spread technical knowledge among young students. The program she has overseen has been associated with voluntary assistance to robotics programs in a variety of schools and community groups, and has produced several web sites that have made free robotics tutorial material available worldwide, resulting in millions of hits from over 7/8 of the world's countries and translations of robotics-related web pages into over 40 languages. Students associated with this program have won multiple State, Country, and World first places in robotics-related events. The group's latest projects include an on-line mini-robotics course for absolute beginners using the new LEGO EV3 MindStorms sets, produced with assistance from Google, that has drawn over 8800 students, and these eBooks. Ying Chen is a lecturer in Information Systems at the University of Tasmania.
Yaya has been playing with LEGO robots since 2006. Since then she has achieved robotics success in State, National and World events, including: Two World RoboCup Junior Firsts (the Rescue category in Austria and the Dance category in Singapore); first place in the senior category of the Australian RoboGals competition; the highest Australian School CSIRO award - the Gold CREST; the highest Australian School Science Award - first place in the BHP-Billiton Engineering Award; among 1600 of the brightest students from 72 countries at ISEF in Arizona USA she gained a first Citation Award; she was invited to Google’s Australia-New Zealand Anita Borg Scholarship retreat; and she gave an oral presentation of her paper at the IEEE Fifth Biomedical International Conference in Thailand. Outside robotics, Yaya has won prizes and medals in Piano and Judo when younger, has represented Tasmania in the Pride of Australia Medal, was nominated as one of Cosmopolitan's top 80 Australian Women of 2014, was a finalist in the Tasmanian division of the Young Australian of the Year, was invited to address the Tasmanian Parliament at their Annual Science Forum, achieved a 99th percentile in the National Mathematics test; an ATAR equivalent of 99.95 in the International Baccalaureate, and was awarded a TuckWell Scholarship from the Australian National University, where she is currently studying in the second year of a Computer Science/Human Factors course.
For several years since retiring, Graeme has had a lot of fun working on a voluntary basis with a group led by Ying Chen. This group has, as one of its aims, the spread of technical knowledge amongst School Students using a robotics program that introduces building and programming skills. Graeme comments that seeing the success achieved by students of this program has been a continuing delight, and feels privileged to be associated with this group. His background before retiring was about 1/3 of his life lecturing at various Universities in Computer Science, Information Systems and Engineering subjects. The 1/3 before that he was a full-time single parent caring for his children. In the first third of his working life he was an Engineer working for an Electricity Authority that produced all the electricity for his home state with negligible carbon dioxide output. He was the first at the local University to offer a lecture course with backup videoed lectures, and taught using the first commercially-offered educational robot, the Tasman Turtle, both in the mid 1980s. Graeme also spent two years working in S.E. Asia as a volunteer with the Australian Volunteers Abroad. His academic qualifications are B.E., B.A., Ph.D., M.I.E.Aust., M.I.E.E.E..