10 August – Trades Academy Computer Technician

Today we had Open Day so that other schools could come in and have a look at what we do in our class.  I wasn’t here but Steve did a great job of keeping our students on task.  Sadly a lot of the students from other schools came late and didn’t really get to see the amazing work we do.  Here are some pics of the day:


3 August – Trades Academy Computer Technician

Level 3 students continue to work with Steve making their robot chassis with components.  They have to investigate wiring their robot and its associated components.  Some of the students are a little behind with their Fusion 360 work.  That is going to hold them up because it takes a while to print.




The Level 2 students have a new fun assignment to do called Smash and Stash where they have to assemble a robot that can push or carry a ball into a goal area while defending themselves from other robots trying to stop them.  Only the IQ’s can defend and beat themselves and the EDR the same for obvious reasons.

The rules are that you have to get the ball in the other sides goal without being wrecked by the other teams.  Some of the designs were very effective with some of them being unbeaten…name Clark, Aryansh with the IQ and Shea with the EDR.  None of the other teams could beat them.  Hence the reason for their winning a lunch from Dominos.

22 June – Trades Academy Computer Technician

Students were given a chance to take part in a Vex Robotics competition in Taradale, however, no matter how much we encouraged, no one in our class was interested; which was sad.

Our level 3 student went with Steve to work on their robot chassis which has to be 3D printed.   They also were given their Arduino kits to work with.


The level 2 students are working on another assessment where they have to recommend hardware for computer use.  Lots of research but for some this is all a little easy.

15 June – Trades Academy Computer Technician

Once again the class was spilt so that one half of the class could work on computers while the other worked on completing the assessments that were required.  Lets just say that the students with Steve were the happy ones.

The fact that we have to test with the answers being written on paper for something that most of these students know already, is a bit sad.  Most of the students in our class know the ins and outs of the computer and quite frankly put me to shame with their knowledge; however they have to be tested in a style that doesn’t always suit their style of learning.  Oh for the days of video  evidence to show their understandinh

8 June – Trades Academy Computer Technician

Steve took the same class as last week as they found the computers were a real mess with some of them with missing parts or wiring put back in incorrectly.  It became a lesson in what not to do with the insides of a computer.

The other half of the class had assignments to complete on the workings of the computer and things like:

  • operating systems
  • application software
  • system configurations
  • specifications and what they mean
  • HUI
  • hardware and software types
  • CPU components and their uses
  • Fetch cycle
  • Processing cycle

Lots of work but in the end, having a chance to get your own computer made it worth while

1 June – Trades Academy Computer Technician

Today we had a change of pace where Steve took half of our class with him to the computer lab to look at hardware which is a part of one of the unit standards we need to complete.  He will be :

  • demonstrating safe working practices including static protection
  • working with compressed air

Students will be doing the following:

  • completing job cards
  • dismantle PC including the removal of CPU and heat sink
  • clean motherboard and chassis using air, vacuum and other cleaning tools
  • clean off old heat sink compound
  • reinstall CPU and heat sink with new compound
  • reinstall other components and correctly complete connections
  • install a new OS
  • record everything onto your job card



25 May – Trades Academy Computer Technician

Assignments due in so there was a race to get both done before the end of the day.  It was only now that some of the students realized that they hadn’t taken any photos or videos of their work.  Panic stations for some.  A lot of the work had been done but no evidence is still no evidence and this would impact greatly on their marks and pass grades.  I was being very tough and making sure that they have pass marks of 80% and above.

Here is an example of my requirements especially where evidence was concerned:

This was needed in the challenge brief that was  needed as part of an assessment for a unit standard.

11 May – Trades Academy Computer Technician

Today we continued with our learning of coding in RobotC.  Steve provided us with sample code to help especially when using our sensors.  Most of us are getting good at using voids.  It does help a lot when writing code.  We also had to make sure that we include comments with our code.  Our task for this week was to program the robot to go through a maze autonomously.

Here is the task:It looks easy but still new code for us to learn about:


4 May – Trades Academy Computer Technician

We looked at working with our robots today changing them to include sensors, some students used examples given while some used their own skills of experimentation.  The sensors needed were distance, led, bumper and gyro.

Here are some pictures of students making their robots:














Zoe working on hers, Andreas below





James and Aihe working hard   with Andy and Phillip working with their EDR kits