Hastings Secondary College community is exceptionally proud of our team’s SUCCESS and our INNOVATIVE and passionate teachers and staff who have guided and supported our students on this fantastic journey of OPPORTUNITY.

Hastings Secondary College Robotics delivers a specialist Robotics program to all students; students give up their lunchtimes, sports and school holidays to continue to develop and prototype their robots. Our College Robotics team have experienced success at the International Robotics Championships in Houston.

Robotics is not just a subject for students who want to do robotics in the future; students can transfer skills to other subjects.

Our challenge is to continue to raise funding to cover our costs and are seeking your help by way of donation and or commitment to an ongoing partnership/sponsorship of our robotics program.

What is the FIRST® Robotics Competition?

FIRST® is a not for profit charity founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. It is supported by Macquarie University and many sponsors in Australia.

The  FIRST® Robotics Competition is a large-scale robotics competition, bringing together students and mentors to build robots that perform in a competitive but gracious environment against teams from all over the world. In building their robot competition preparation, students learn valuable life skills including teamwork, collaboration, public speaking, technical science and engineering skills, and others. In the organisation's own words "it's a varsity sport for the mind" High school-aged young people from around the world form teams with like-minded cohorts, learn from adult mentors and then build the best robots they can for good-nature, character- building competition.

How does the program work?

Each January the competition game is announced, and the team has six weeks to build, code and build a robot that completes a set of challenges. Each year the game changes, so all teams make a new robot every year. 

Teams must complete building their robots mid-February, giving them just about six weeks to brainstorm, design, prototype, create, program and learn to drive a robot. The robots themselves are up to 6 ft. tall and weigh as much as 50 kgs. Robots work together to score points, play defense, and fend off other teams.

Construction of the robot takes place during a short build season; teams must design and build mechanical, electrical and software controls systems, as well as integrate them all into one remote-controlled machine.

What do students gain?

Students have a lot to gain from robotics programs like FIRST. They work with professional engineers, develop team- building skills and get their hands dirty with some actual robotic construction, programming and problem solving - all while potentially having the time of their lives.

But for all this to happen, these STEM bound young men and women either have to build a team from scratch. Students develop priceless engineering, programming and teamwork skills. It also gives bright young students a chance to let their geek flag fly with pride.

Teams from around the world don't just come to compete; they come to flaunt their love of science. Youth and adults alike join in a celebration of nerdom and even kick off festivities with a robot parade. Live marching bands usher the prized bots through the competition grounds with brightly coloured mascots follow in their wake. Wizards, aliens and cartoon characters accompany the teams as family members, and volunteers cheer from the stands.

First Robotics

How did Hastings Secondary College get involved in the program?

Macquarie University supports the regional outreach program “Robots in the Outback” (sponsored by Google) and visited Hastings Secondary College, along with experts from the USA, on the late January 2017 to mentor our team.

Hastings Secondary College Success

FIRST Lego League Lake Cathie Regional Champions Awards.

FIRST Lego League National Championships Innovation Solutions Award, 2nd Place.

2019 - Regional Champions -  minor premiers.

2019 - Winners 2019 Duel Down Under

2018 - Regional Champions- Invited to attend the World Robotics Competition in Houston - Students at Hastings Secondary College are feeling on top of the world after securing a spot at the First Robotics Competition in Houston, Texas, for the second year in a row.

The team, which only started competing in 2017, is having a dream run, winning the judges wildcard to go back to the United States, at the Asia Pacific regional competition, in Sydney from March 11-13.

2018 Dual Down Under (Macquarie University) - Hastings Heroes team ranked second entering the Finals. 

At the conclusion of the intense competition, Hastings Heroes  Team 6508 took home the Connected Community Award. 

This award goes to the team that shows exemplary involvement in their local community activities, such as sharing their work with primary schools in the area and helping develop and mentor a significant number of First Lego League teams. 

2017 - Regional Champions Rookie of the Year -  Hastings Heroes Team 6508 took out the title of "Rookie of the Year." Rookie teams are generally encouraged to attempt only one of the four challenges, but Hastings 6508 prepared for the autonomous, gear installation and climbing challenges.

“This challenge is not an easy one for a rookie team, but in the short-time, this team has been here they have made their presence felt. They impressed all the judges displaying all the spirit of FIRST with their fantastic approach to the whole competition all the time. Their engineering shows a level of maturity that makes them a team to watch out for in the future. 

The group is strong, their discussion excited and enthusiastic. They have taken their design to new levels; thinking about what they can do and what the universe can throw at them, to stop it happening, ratcheting up the competition. Their robot climbs with astounding energy that all members of the team display. This year’s winners of the Rookie All-Stars Award is Hastings Secondary College, 650

Partnership Bale Engineering

Where would a team of designers, builders, problem solvers see their capabilities in a real-world environment? Well, they saw it in action when they visited Bale Defence Industries.  The staff at Bale Defence were also able to witness the emerging talents of our students as they demonstrated their robot and shared their project journey. 

Hastings Secondary College and Bale Defence Industries in partnership. 

A natural partnership one might say. This includes invaluable mentoring in aspects such as project management, design, and construction from Bale staff. Access to high-quality materials for robot construction and manufacture of parts designed by our team. Now the College can take the program to the next level thanks Bale Defence Industries.


Find out more about sponsoring or donating to Hastings Heroes Team 6508.