Image of robot with a rocket

Learn to Speak Robot

The Learn to Speak Robot Challenge is a computational thinking challenge for children and young people.

Most of the Challenge Activities are suited to students from middle primary to early secondary but students across all year levels are welcome to take part.

Complete any four of the free computational thinking (including coding) Challenge Activities before 24 September 2021 to complete the Challenge.

Schools and homeschool groups are asked to register.

All schools and homeschool groups taking part will receive the Certificate of Achievement from the Commissioner template for their students. Only schools and homeschool groups in South Australia are eligible to win the other digital rewards on offer – see full terms and conditions for details.

Registration

Check if your school is registered here.

If not, register your school now – it’s free and takes under a minute!

Schools have until 24 September 2021 to complete the challenge.

DIGITAL THINKING

 

FOR CHILDREN

 

REGISTER NOW!

STEPS FOR SCHOOLS

Step 1

Find out if your school is already registered here.

Step 2

If your school is not yet registered, register your school.

Registration is free and takes less than a minute.

Step 3

Every school that has registered will nominate a Challenge Coordinator who will print or share the Coding Record with all students taking part.

Challenge Coordinators are able to run the Challenge however they like. They may be a teacher wishing to run the Challenge with their own class or they may run the Challenge via any number of other teachers at the school.

The Challenge is open to all year levels.

There’s no minimum or maximum number of students required for a school to register and take part.

Step 4

Coordinators or teachers can choose any four Challenge Activities to work through together or students can choose their own.

Run the activities however suits your school.

Step 5

Look at the Beginner’s Guide if you aren’t sure what activities to choose.

Step 6

Take a note of the key dates to make sure you complete the Challenge in time.

Step 7

Challenge Coordinators are asked to collect all students’ Coding Records and retain them for 6 months.

Step 8

Challenge Coordinators will use the forms to complete and submit the Challenge Completion Form before the deadline of 24 September 2021.

The Challenge Completion Form invites each school to provide a student testimonial on taking part in the Challenge. Entries from South Australia judged as most creative and insightful win cool digital rewards.

The Challenge Activities

Not sure what Challenge Activities to select for your students?
Check out the recommended activities in our Beginner’s Guide.

Or explore the full range of free step-by-step activities here:

Access DT Hub™
Activities

Find out more
Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum-approved options with complete lesson plans.

Digital thinking activities across various subject areas such as Health, the Arts, Geography and Science.

Access Hour of Code™ Activities

Find out more
A great place to start as all lessons are step-by-step and there’s something for everyone. Character themed activities include coding with Star Wars®, Minecraft®, Disney characters from Moana® and Frozen®, Angry Birds®, NBA® and more.

Access Grok Learning™ Activities

Find out more
Never tried coding before? Try some basic Blockly coding with the cute Monster Maker.

All activities include access to lesson plans for teachers meeting Australian Digital Technology curriculum requirements.

Access CS Unplugged™ Activities

Find out more
Core fundamentals of programming without devices! You’ll only need items like chalk, paper, pens, pebbles, bits ‘n’ bobs and your digital thinking brain. Great activities to work through with your class.

Access MakeCode™ Activities

Find out more
Always wanted a micro:bit device but don’t have one? Use the free online micro:bit simulator here to make a flashing heart or a game where you can play ‘rock paper scissors’. Plus lots more to try here.

Access Code Club™ Activities

Find out more
Step-by-step projects to complete using free downloads to make your own musical instruments with Scratch, create a webpage to tell a joke with HTML and CSS and send secret messages with Python.

Rewards for Schools

When schools in South Australia submit their School’s Challenge Completion form for the Zoom Out and Learn to Speak Robot Challenges in 2021 they are invited to include the testimonial of a student who completed the Challenge. Schools in South Australia submitting a testimonial are eligible to win digital rewards for the benefit of all students:

1st place: 

One school will win Coding in Minecraft for their entire school donated by award-winning global EdTech provider, Prodigy Learning. Coding in Minecraft is a computer science credential program with supporting curriculum, delivered through Minecraft: Education Edition (NB* this reward requires an existing Minecraft Education license). The program engages young and diverse learners through game-based learning in an immersive computer science and coding curriculum and rewards their learning with credentials.

One school will win a brand new school website donated and developed by local education website developers, EWS Education Web Solutions.

2nd place:

Two schools will win robotics kits donated by VEX Robotics:

– A double-pack of VEX IQ Super Kits (Grades 5-9) or
– Small Classroom Set of VEX GO with 5 Robots (Grades 3-5) or
– Small Classroom Set of VEX 123 with 6 Robots (Grades K-2) or
– One VEX V5 Classroom Super Kit (Grades 9-12)

The VEX IQ Super Kits will include an onsite robotics training incursion donated by, and facilitated by, Building Bots.

3rd place:

Six schools will win a class pack of annual GROK Academy subscriptions donated by GROK Academy.

4th place:

Four schools will win a data pack from Advanced Technology Project.

PLUS

  • High achiever schools are awarded the Commissioner’s Certificate of Recognition in Digital Skills for 2021 with holographic seal

AND

  • Every student completing the Challenge earns the Learn to Speak Robot Certificate of Achievement from the Commissioner for Children and Young People for 2021.

*All registered schools receive the Certificate template (including interstate and overseas schools). However, only schools in South Australia are eligible to win the digital rewards. Please refer to the full Terms and Conditions for more information.

Photo of our rewards (drone, website, etc.)

Key Dates

CHALLENGE OPENS

27 Jan 2021 (First day Term 1)
Schools need to register.
Individual children taking part outside of school do not need to register. Find out how children can take part outside of school here.

SCHOOL REGISTRATION CLOSES

2 July 2021 (Last day Term 2)

STUDENTS RETURN FORMS

10 Sept 2021 (recommendation only)
Schools are advised to ask students to return their completed coding records to their Challenge Coordinator well in advance of the Challenge closing date so your Challenge Coordinator has plenty of time to submit your school’s Challenge Completion Form.

CHALLENGE CLOSES

24 Sept 2021 (Last day Term 3)

REWARDS DISTRIBUTED

Term 4 2021

Forms

Coding Record

Print or share with every student taking part – to be completed by each student and retained by their school Challenge Coordinator

(PDF, 71KB)

Challenge Completion Form

Completed online once per school

 

(Link to online form)

Image of robot lifting weights

EXTEND THEIR DIGITAL LEARNING POWERS

Would you like to take your students further on their digital learning experience?
There’s even a free lending library where you can borrow robots for your class to play with.

Promotional Materials

Download posters, flyers, social media assets and more to share news of the Challenge with other teachers, parents and families and students at your school:
Posters to print (A4)

A4 Poster for schools
(502KB, PDF)

Posters to print (A3)

A3 Poster for schools
(738KB, PDF)

Shareable social media post
Shareable social media post
Print & Keep Guide - Six steps for Challenge Coordinators
Print & Keep Guide – Six steps for Challenge Coordinators
Photo of Helen Connolly, Commissioner for Children and Young People, South Australia

Commissioner's Message

Despite the considerable disruption we all faced in 2020, an estimated 20,000 children and young people across South Australia still completed my annual design thinking (Space to Dream) and digital thinking (Learn to Speak Robot) challenge.

This year I’ve introduced a third Challenge that sits alongside Space to Dream and Learn to Speak Robot, completing the suite.

Zoom Out is my new systems thinking challenge, because 21st Century Citizens need to be able to approach problems with a big picture mindset. Empowered with this knowledge, the next generation will see that problems present opportunities for better and brighter ways of doing things.

Our future requires bold thinkers who know how to create intelligent and out-of-the-box solutions.

If you’re a young person, take the Challenge today! If you’re an educator, register now to get the Challenge happening at your school. If you’re a community group leader, run the Challenge in your unit. If you’re a librarian, register your library and promote the Challenge using the free posters and graphic assets.

Let’s work together to encourage as many children and young people in South Australia as possible to take a journey towards digital empowerment in 2021!

Helen Connolly

Commissioner for Children and Young People, South Australia

Benefits

Ally Watson

Ally Watson

CEO & Co-Founder at Code Like A Girl

The future is technology. Women are at risk of losing out on tomorrow’s best job opportunities. The situation presents a unique opportunity for females to step up and take action. The future is very much looking to artificial intelligence, and if it’s only men building that intelligence there’s going to be continued bias in the technology of the future.
Paul Clapton-Caputo

Paul Clapton-Caputo

(Former) Leader at Learning Technologies, Leadership Development, Department for Education ǀ Director at Educators SA ǀ Principal Consultant at EdTechSA

This Challenge opens young minds to thinking technologically. It will grow diversity and inclusion and opportunity for those that will soon lead this work in creating tools and systems yet unimagined. Human, cultural and systems diversity require the chance for every child and young person in South Australia to be part of this thinking and mix.
Professor Katrina Falkner

Professor Katrina Falkner

Lead at Computer Science Education Research (CSER) Group | Lead at Centre for Distributed and Intelligent Technologies - Modelling and Analysis

It is essential for our next generation to not only learn about how digital technology works and how to use it, but also how to create new technologies. Understanding how we create technology solutions empowers people in solving their own problems and those of their communities in ways that truly address their needs.
Dr Rebecca Vivian

Dr Rebecca Vivian

Research Fellow at Computer Science Education Research (CSER) Group

Technology increasingly has an impact on every field today – including finance, fashion, agriculture, business, art, medicine and more! Providing opportunities for children to develop computational thinking and digital skills is fundamental to building their capacity to be problem-solvers and solution-creators in a digital world.  
Professor James Curran

Professor James Curran

Academic Director at Australian Computing Academy | Director at National Computer Science School | CEO at Grok Academy

Digital technologies make thoughts concrete without requiring the physical world. Any problem that can be turned into data, you can manipulate and interact with in such a way that you could change the world – and there’s nothing more amazing than that.

The Commissioner's Digital Challenge is

proudly supported by

Australian Space Agency logo
Makers Empire logo
VEX Robotics
Coding in Minecraft logo
Prodigy Learning logo
Myriota logo
Building Bots logo
Microsoft logo
Australian Information Industry Association logo
EWS - Education Web Solutions logo
Grok Learning logo
Public Libraries Service of South Australia
Scouts logo
Girl Guides logo
Children’s University logo
Australian Computing Academy logo
National Computer Science School logo
EDTechSA
The Hartley Institute logo
Digital Technologies Hub
CS Unplugged logo
MakeCode logo
Computer Science Education Research Group logo
Code Club Australia logo
Code Like a Girl logo
Advanced Technology Program
Onkaparinga Libraries logo
Acknowledgement of Country

We respectfully acknowledge and celebrate the Traditional Owners of the lands throughout South Australia and we pay our respects to their Elders – and to past, present and future generations of their children and young people.

Commissioner for Children and Young People logo

© Commissioner's Digital Challenge
Website by Education Web Solutions

Digital Thinking Schools (Digital Thinking)