News story

​Move over Rover - students learn how technology is transforming agriculture

More than 190 students from nine Western Australian secondary schools attended our annual Drone versus Dog Trials last Wednesday.
 
The initiative was established in 2017 to expose secondary school students to the rapidly advancing agriculture industry and the career opportunities it provides.
 
The event teaches students how modern technology like drones and robots or ‘agbots’ are applied in the industry and showcases the sector to students who might not otherwise think about a career in agriculture.
 
Muresk Institute General Manager Prue Jenkins said this program effectively engages with high school students, exposing them to what agriculture looks like in the 21st century.
 
“There are common misconceptions of what working in ag means. It doesn’t always mean rural and remote locations and getting your hands dirty, you can be on St Georges Terrace marketing grain, in ag journalism traveling around the world or in a science lab making a ground breaking discovery, it really is a diverse industry” she said.
 
“The program also allows us to demonstrate clear pathways to employment through the educational courses delivered at Muresk including Curtin University’s Associate Degree in Agriculture.”
 
This year Archie Le Grice from John Curtin College of the Arts won a drone for his school beating the other student pilots with a time of 17.42 seconds. The dog, Jay, had the best time but missed the final hurdle.
 
On the day, the nine excited pilots were supported by their peers who cheered them on from the sidelines. The day also incorporated pilot training and information sessions about careers in agriculture.
 
The trials competition last Wednesday was the grand finale to our Statewide Drone versus Dog Roadshow, a series of school visits to all nine participating schools. During these visits students in Years 10-12 learned how drones and other ground breaking technologies are used in the agriculture industry. Students also had the opportunity to test their skills on a drone simulator.
 
Participating schools included:
Applecross Senior High School
Edmund Rice College
John Curtin College of the Arts
Kiara College
Kelmscott Senior High School
Quairading District High School
Western Australian College of Agriculture – Cunderdin
Western Australian College of Agriculture – Denmark
Western Australian College of Agriculture – Harvey
 
Schools interested in participating in the 2019 Drone versus Dog Trials are invited to contact Carla Swift at carla.swift@dtwd.wa.gov.au to express their interest.

Archie Le Grice from John Curtin College of the Arts and Prue Jenkins, General Manager, Muresk Institute.

 

Drone versus Dog pilots.