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Community 100 – Robot club for kids

Posted on Feb 15th 2017 by in Lions100

A robotics club for young people in Hallett Cove, South Australia, gets a reboot from the local Lions Club.

It was a chance meeting in preparation for the Anzac Day dawn service in Hallett Cove, a beachside suburb of Adelaide, that sound engineer Don Eickoff met the local Lions Club. They got talking and the Lions Club suggested Eickoff apply for the Lions Community 100 initiative.

You see, Eickoff had started the Hallett Cove Robotics Club (to support his son’s hobby) and had established a space for technology-curious youth to come together and experiment on computers.

“There had been a lot of interest in the Hallett Cove Robotics Club from right across the Adelaide metropolitan region, to the point where many people were asking us to start a club in their local area,” says Eickoff.

The Robotics Club applied for the Lions Community 100 grant to purchase second-hand computers and microprocessors. The grant has meant the club has been able to set up an outreach arm and has started a series of after-school workshops at the Cove Civic Centre, Glandore Community Centre and Corromandel Valley Primary School.

John Murray, secretary of the Hallett Cove Lions Club says the program appealed to their club firstly because it involves the young people in their community and secon

Lions President Ian Chandler with Team Leader Don Eickhoff and club members

dly, because most youth programs are focused on sport.

To give you an idea of the robotics club crowd, Eickoff says, “A couple of years ago I was eavesdropping on a conversation between a group of 12-year-olds at the club. While in many parts of the country the conversation would’ve been about football or what was on TV last night. This group was discussing the Higgs-Boson particle, a subatomic particle whose existence was only proved a few years ago in the Hadron Collider. These are the kind of kids who attend our club!”

Murray also notes that the club is truly prescient at this time in Australia’s history. “In our everyday lives we’re seeing that not only will manufacturing jobs be carried out mainly by robots, but technology will increasingly invade the once protected professions, such as law and accounting.”

“This is a future that we must address and not hide away from. This could, very well, lead to a brighter future for mankind. These children [at the Hallett Cove Robotics Club], in their adult lives, will be at the forefront of this technology.” Control, alt, repeat.


Story on behalf of Country Style Magazine.

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