King David School's Robotics Team Golem

On Sunday 20th November a group of 4 boys from Years 8 and 9 participated in the FIRST LEGO League Victorian Championship held at Melbourne Grammar. Our King David School team, known as Team Golem, finished second from a total of 15 competing teams. The team was subsequently invited to participate in the Australian Championship held at Macquarie University in Sydney. Though the national competition was held on a Saturday, the organisers from Macquarie University were able to arrange for our team to compete on the Friday afternoon whilst keeping true to the school’s Jewish faith and maintaining Shabbat. The team competed well in all four key facets of the competition: Robot Performance, Research, Technical Interview and Team Work. The organisers commended the school and the team on its gracious professionalism. The boys each received a small gift from BAE Systems, and a medallion from the national organisers of the Robotics Championship.

A proxy team, provided by Macquarie University, volunteered to drive our robot on Saturday on behalf of our team, as a way of showing the other competitors that the King David School team was a part of this national competition but was unable to compete on Saturday as it was committed to its Jewish faith and keeping Shabbat. The boys trained their proxy drivers in the use of their robot before heading off with their accompanying teacher Milorad to North Shore Temple Emanuel for Friday evening service. We were very grateful to Rabbi Gary and Jocelyn Robuck for inviting the team to a Shabbat meal with their family, and for being so warm and welcoming into their home. The team returned to Temple Emanuel for Saturday morning service. Though we returned to Melbourne on Sunday morning minus a trophy, the team were excited with the experience that they had enjoyed. The King David School is grateful to Melbourne Grammar for arranging for kosher food to be available during the Victorian Championship, to Macquarie University and their partner BAE Systems in facilitating the school’s participation on Friday, and to the Robert Feigin Memorial Scholarship Trust for their ongoing support of the school’s co-curricular Science programs.

Professor Mike Heimlich from Macquarie University has praised The King David School on its recent participation in the Australian FIRST LEGO League Robotics tournament in Sydney, and is helping the school to establish Melbourne’s first FRC team, an advanced robotics program which will bring together high school students, university mentors and industry experts (such as Boeing and  BAE Systems) to work on a sophisticated (part autonomous, part remote-controlled) robot. The school will then compete in an inaugural battle of the cities FRC regional event, Sydney vs. Melbourne. The international FRC Championships held in the USA brings together teams from around the world, including several teams from Israel. The Sydney FRC team consists of several inner Sydney high schools run by Macquarie University. The Melbourne team will be coordinated by The King David School, in a kind of David vs. Goliath battle; but all in the spirit of good fun, sharing ideas, learning and gracious professionalism.

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