Year 6 Visit to ITS World Congress 2016

Throughout last term all of our year 6 students at Westgarth have been learning about Intelligent Transport Systems in class.  During this unit of inquiry, students have been using digital technology to communicate their thinking, which has included coding and computer programming.  Throughout last week, students were fortunate enough to take their ideas to a global audience at the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Our students relished the opportunity to talk to industry professionals from around the world and communicate their innovative ideas in delivering safer, more efficient and environmentally sustainable transport for the future.  During the event students were not only able to deepen their learning about cutting edge technology, but they were also given opportunity to share their own ideas as part of the Design Your Future Challenge.  As well as our very own exhibit partnered with Scienceworks, students also held a public talk in the congress auditorium and attracted plenty of media attention.


There were numerous highlights from the busy week.  One of our students, Annie, impressed delegates attending our public talks so much that she was invited to feature on the official ITS podcast.  Please click here to listen to the podcast on SoundCloud.  This program is hosted by UK radio personality and Smart Highways magazine editor Paul Hutton, who was intrigued by Annie’s ideas about improving train rail infrastructure in Australia.


Torren, Ryan and Sebastien were eager to share their idea in improving safety on our roads to Ng Chee Meng (above), the Singaporean Minister of Education.  Their idea centres on a smart flip key for your car with an inbuilt breathalyser.  The key, which they designed on the computer to print in 3D, only unlocks when the driver’s blood alcohol level is below the legal limit.

Jackson and Lulu braved a crowd of onlookers to give a talk about their idea to improve pedestrian safety in some of Melbourne’s black spots.  They were able to confidently explain their use of computer coding to program an autonomous robot to block the path of oncoming traffic to enable pedestrians to safely cross.  The audience included Brian Negus, the President of ITS Australia, and Kathy Coultas, the Director of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

A big thank you to all of our parent volunteers that attended the excursion.  I would also like to acknowledge the incredible work from our year 6 teachers Brenda, Nettie and Sarah in providing an opportunity of this magnitude for our students.  We will be hosting an open afternoon for you to come in and view the work from the students next week on Tuesday, 25 October.  The exhibition will be open from 2:00pm to 4:30pm in the WEB on Clarke St.  It would be great to see you there!