Stemiverse 0021 - Lael Grant on the benefits of competitive educational robotics

October 15, 2017

Welcome to Stemiverse Podcast episode 21.

In this episode, Dr Peter Dalmaris and Marcus Schappi talk with Lael Grant.


Lael is computer programming teacher at Barker College, based in the Sydney suburb of Hornsby, in Australia.

At the College, Lael is the team coordinator and part of the mentor team of the Barker Redbacks. The Redbacks have established themselves as one of the leading Robotics teams in Australia. When Lael is not planning the future of robotics and STEM education at Barker, he teaches programming as a part of the Computer Science faculty.

We interviewed Lael and two student members of the Redback team at the Barker College campus. The result is a two-part episode in which we discuss the importance of using robotics as a vehicle to develop multiple skill sets and attitudes in students.

In this first episode, Lael talks about Robotics education in Barker College and the benefits of cooperative competition.

In the second episode, two student members of the Redbacks team (one current and one alumni) give us a student perspective of what team membership is like for them, and how it has helped them develop technical, personal and interpersonal skills. Saskia – a current member and one of the Team Captains is in Year 11. And Alastair is a team alumnus and now studying Engineering.

I'll take one more minute in this introduction to give you some background on the Redbacks Robotics team.

The team grew from a small number of students in 2014 through to their successes in 2017. In 2017 the team competed in Australia and around the globe in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and the VEX Robotics Competition (VRC). The team won the most Regionals of any team in FRC and were finalists in their Division at Championships.

This is Stemiverse Podcast episode 21.


Stemiverse podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and electronics.


The show notes and other information are available on the Tech Explorations blog episode page. 



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