Gerard Houlihan | Deputy Head Of The School
St Michael's Grammar School | Australia

Gerard Houlihan, Deputy Head Of The School, St Michael's Grammar School

Gerard has more than two decades experience in education with qualifications in science, psychology, commerce, art, and school leadership, with roles as consultant to the VCAA and other educational institutions. Gerard maintains a strong focus on holistic and innovative applications of technology in teaching, learning and caring, and has presented at state and national conferences. He coordinated Science at Methodist Ladies’ College, Kew, and at St Michael’s Grammar School, St Kilda, were he introduced a Science Club and a robotics elective in the Middle Years. He is a past Vice-President of the Science Teachers’ Association of Victoria.


Day 2 @ 13:40

Beyond a Kit – Build your own Robot from the Ground Up

  • Microcontrollers are compact integrated circuits with a memory, processor and input-output interfaces, they are found in a myriad of household and industry electronic appliances, and many kit robotics systems such as Lego Mindstorms and Arduino.
  • St Michael’s students solder a PICAXE microcontroller and electronic components into a project board which they then use to explore a range of control systems (a ‘cyber-pet’, an ‘air-guitar’, and a ‘remote-control car’) before progressing to an autonomous robot. The advantage of using PICAXE is that it is inexpensive, readily available and its programming code (BASIC) is relatively simple to learn and debug compared with the more traditional C-based programming languages.
  • The work progresses through a series of open-ended challenges encompassing design, science, engineering and programming skills, which requires a truly engaged, collaborative and creative approach to learning.
last published: 18/Apr/19 06:05 GMT

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