Year 12 student, Liam Price, is a great example of what can be achieved by selecting a technology-focused study program at Bendigo Senior Secondary College.
Liam’s suite of subjects includes Physics, Systems Engineering, Software Development and two VET subjects—Cisco and Integrated Technologies. His passion is robotics, and he hopes his subject choice will create a pathway to an apprenticeship in an advanced field of electronics, such as electrical engineering or automation, and then one day to university studies.
Liam’s projects have included a robot that can draw, an exploration robot, and a quad bike operated remotely by cellular 4G—the project he describes as his most challenging so far.
“My goal was to turn an ordinary petrol engine quad bike into a remote-controlled vehicle,” he explains. “It involved automating all of the mechanical components that you might see in a modern car—parking assist, adaptive cruise control… all those bells and whistles.
“The whole thing can be completely controlled from a desk, with a computer steering wheel and foot pedal.”
Like so many students in 2020, Liam has had to adapt to remote learning, which comes with a unique set of challenges for students studying VET subjects with vital practical components.
“Having access to the materials I need has been challenging,” he says, “but I can do most things from home and have a lot of the tools and equipment to get my projects completed.
“Studying English and Physics remotely has been much harder because I get easily distracted by the subjects I’m more passionate about, like Systems Engineering. Being on a computer for so many hours each day is hard too, especially as I’m doing six subjects.”
One of Liam’s outlets is music, both listening to it for pleasure and playing his guitar. It gives him a much needed break from his projects and the stresses of Year 12.
“At the end of the day, when I’m feeling tired, I’ll usually take a break and play guitar,” he says. “Unfortunately I haven’t dedicated much time lately to learning any new songs or riffs, but it’s a great way to relax and I really enjoy it.”
With Year 12 getting to the business end, and exams on the horizon, Liam is doing as much preparation for 2021 as he can, applying for scholarships, apprenticeships and other opportunities in his chosen pathway.
“I recently had an interview with an electrical engineering company and they’ve encouraged me to contact them when I’m closer to finishing school,” he says. “I’m also hoping to apply for the VCAA’s Top Designs. It’s one of the things that’s pushing me to complete my projects and make them the best they can be.”