Wheels turning for positively geared school project

Before enrolling at Carinity Education Glendyne, Scott Buckle had struggled with his schooling.

Now the 15-year-old is thriving and enjoying learning – but it’s an activity outside the classroom that gets him really excited about going to school.

Scott is one of the keen participants of the Hervey Bay school’s new RC Rock Crawlers project.

Harlan Fowler, Dale Hansen, Scott Buckle and Philip Reymers with Carinity Education Glendyne’s RC Rock Crawler vehicles and track
Harlan Fowler, Dale Hansen, Scott Buckle and Philip Reymers with some of Carinity Education Glendyne’s RC Rock Crawler vehicles.

RC crawlers are remotely controlled vehicles designed to scale steep inclines and climb over rocks, which Carinity Education Glendyne Principal, Dale Hansen, introduced the vehicles to the school.

“I brought my own model in for the students to try, and we had about nine students that wanted to engage in this activity. This quickly became another Friday mentoring activity for the students,” Dale said.

After a local rock crawler club donated a track to the school, students and staff commenced building their own track components, including a replica of the Glendyne workshop.

“Each stage of the track construction is themed around a great Australian landmark. One student, Scott Buckle, has commenced the building of Sydney Harbour Bridge,” Dale said.

Scott’s mother, Paula Buckle, said participating in RC Rock Crawler activities has given her son a “personal feeling of self-worth he has never had before”.

“Scott’s attitude to school has completely changed for the better since being at Glendyne and the RC activities on a Friday is his absolute favourite,” Paula said.

Scott Buckle drives a radio contolled vehicle over a track designed and constructed by Carinity Education Glendyne students
Scott Buckle drives a radio-controlled vehicle over a track designed and constructed by Carinity Education Glendyne students.

“He feels valued in that he is able to bring his creativity to life and continue to plan and work on new additions.

“He has always had issues with fine motor tasks but seeing how he manoeuvres the cars round the track is just incredible. It is helping him so much in terms of his confidence.

“I was there when Scott set up a mini track for members of the public to try.  It was heartwarming to see other parents get really excited to have a go, and Scott helping them and giving out certificates.”

Supervising teacher Philip Reymers said the RC Rock Crawlers project has been a “good activity to manage negative student behaviours”.

“One student has had some trouble regulating more extreme behaviours including walking out of class, anti-social behaviours and ODD (oppositional defiant disorder),” Philip said.

“As the vehicle drivers need to move more slowly, concentrate and are away from triggers, this helps to de-escalate and regulate behaviours.

Carinity Education Glendyne students Harlan Fowler and Scott Buckle inspect RC Rock Crawler vehicles with school principal, Dale Hansen.
Carinity Education Glendyne teachers have witnessed the benefits of RC Rock Crawlers on student engagement and wellbeing.

“The student was able to stand still and drive the RC car for approximately 30 minutes. They enjoyed the relaxed setting and joined in with other students when they were planning new course designs.”

RC Rock Crawlers is developing into an important part of Glendyne’s curriculum, with hopes students could soon compete in inter-school competitions.

“It lends itself to create learning opportunities in integrated curriculum areas which include science, technology, engineering, art, English and mathematics,” Dale said.

“My longer-term goal is to have public competitions with state and interstate teams. Expanding the project to involve local community members supports our school’s model of service of creating a ‘sense of belonging’.”

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