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AARNet's John Nicholls at a Robotics Competition
April 16, 2017

STEM mentoring award for AARNet director John Nicholls

AARNet’s head of infrastructure development has been recognised for inspiring and empowering students in a national robotics competition.

John Nicholls was awarded the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award at this week’s FIRST® Robotics Southern Cross Regional competition after being nominated by students he mentored.

The award celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design, and it recognises mentors who lead, inspire and empower using excellent communication skills.

John’s efforts as a mentor included co-ordinating twice-weekly video conferences to support teams around the country as they prepared for the competition.

AARNet’s CEO, Chris Hancock, praised his efforts – and his use of technology.

“John’s mentoring efforts were clearly recognised by the students he mentored as being inspiring and impactful.

“It’s great that he was able to rely on the Zoom videoconferencing service to reach students, particularly those in remote regions that could otherwise have been disadvantaged.

“Well done John for “walking the talk”, and congratulations on this fantastic award!”

The FIRST® Robotics Competition sees high school students compete head-to-head with robots they have designed, built and programmed.

As a FIRST® Robotics Competition partner, AARNet is providing internet connectivity and live streaming for the Sydney Olympic Park event venue, as well as mentoring and bursaries for prize winners.