How are you dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic and restrictions?
Initially, all face-to-face team meetings and classes were cancelled and replaced by Robotics Online – a vitual classroom where Project Bucephalus mentors run classes for students using robotics kits at home.
With COVID restrictions now being eased, face-to-face classes are returning as venues and attendance allow. Visit our Learn Robotics page to see current details. All face-to-face classes are run in a COVID-safe manner, adhering to NSW Government regulations. This includes precautions such as:
- Electronic check-In at all venues
- Sanitising of equipment and workspaces
- Hand sanitiser applied to all students on entry and exit of classrooms
- Class size restricted by room size (according to current restrictions)
Are you offering refunds for face-toface classes cancelled by the COVID pandemic?
No. Fees paid for cancelled classes will be applied as credit to future enrolements in normal activities or Robotics Online (if available).
What do I need to participate in Robotics Online?
Most importantly, a MINDSTORMS® EV3 kit. You will also need a computer (not a tablet or Chromebook) with a microphone and webcam, and with the EV3-G programming environment installed. Note: Macs running Catlina may have issues with the latter requirement. Project Bucephalus will supply files and class material.
I want to do Robotics Online, but don’t have access to a MINDSTORMS® kit. What now?
If you don’t have one already, there are three main options to get access to a MINDSTORMS® kit:
- Project Bucephalus has arranged a deal with Modern Teaching Aids where all Project Bucephalus students will receive a 20% discount on MINDSTORMS EV3 Core Sets – reducing the price to $699.51 (inc GST) down from the normal $863.46. This option gives a student access to STEM tools during the entire COVID-19 lockdown!
- Hire a Project Bucephalus kit – if they are available and if you are with the Wollongong area. Hiring a kit requires a bond and weekly hire fee, and can be arranged through the online registration process.
- Approach your school (or FLL Team!) to get access to equipment.
About Project Bucephalus
Can I join the FIRST LEGO League team?
Yes, but it’s often easier to start your own team (we’ll give you a hand!). The primary restriction on the FLL team is that all team members must be home-schooled. The Project Bucephalus roster changes each year, so new members are welcome. However, an FLL team is limited to 10 members. Visit Join The FLL Team for more information.
Can I join the FIRST Robotics Competition team?
Yes, but be aware it’s a big commitment! 5985 is open to all students of high school age (home-schooled or otherwise). There are strict limits on overall team size. The competition is designed for Year 9 and up, but we have some space for younger students. Visit Join the FRC Team for more information.
Are Project Bucephalus coaches or students part of the University of Wollongong?
No. Project Bucephalus is sponsored by the University of Wollongong, who generously allow the team to use their rooms for robotics activities during the school holidays. We display the UOW logo as thanks for this support.
Is Project Bucephalus affiliated with or sponsored by the LEGO® company?
No we’re not, and we try to take pains to point that out. We like LEGO® MINDSTORMS® and think the FIRST® LEGO® League is a fantastic competition. However, we’re in no way involved with the company. Project Bucephalus is currently a business partnership between the coaches, set up purely for the purpose of funding the team’s activities and allowing continued participation in the FLL and FRC.
Do you sell LEGO® MINDSTORMS® sets?
No. LEGO Education has two official outlets in Australia: Modern Teaching Aids (www.teaching.com.au) and Moore Educational (http://www.mooreed.com.au/). We usually get our gear through MTA, but that’s a personal preference only.
Payments, Discounts, and Refunds
How do I register or make payments for Robo Camp or Robo Club (or any other Project Bucephalus activity)?
Can I get a refund for missed classes at a Robo Club?
If a student is using team equipment: No. Students are reserving use of a laptop and MINDSTORMS kit for the duration of the term, and this must be paid for regardless of attendance on an individual week. We can sometimes make exceptions for unexpected long-term absences, particularly if we are able to fill the vacancy with another student.
If a student is using their own equipment: Maybe. Sporadic absences will typically not be refunded, but longer absences will be accommodated if enough notice is given.
Can I get a refund on a Robo Camp payment?
Maybe. In general, our ability to offer a refund depends on the proximity of the event.
More than 2 weeks to event: Refunds will be freely given.
1-2 weeks to event: 75% of fee will be refunded automatically. 100% will be refunded if the vacancy can be filled by another student.
1 week (or less) to the event: No refunds will be given unless the vacancy can be filled by another student.
Please note that we do make exceptions for special circumstances (family emergency, injury etc.). Refund applications fitting this criteria will be judged on a case-by-case basis.
What Discounts apply to Robo Club?
Important Note: Each Robo Club takes place at a different venue, and thus different rules may apply. In general, there are three discounts available for Robo Club events:
- Own Equipment: Students supplying their own MINDSTORMS® kit and laptop receive a discount on class costs.
- Family: If three or more members of the same immediate family attend the same class, each get a 10% discount.
- Subsidy: Some venues subsidise certain students, resulting in reduced prices. Contact Us for information about a specific class.
Please note that only one discount can be applied at a time.
What Discounts apply to Robo Camp?
The following discounts apply only to Robo Camp, NOT Robo Camp Junior:
Equipment: Discounts are offered to students supplying their own LEGO MINDSTORMS set (EV3 or NXT) and/or a laptop computer with MINDSTORMS software installed. The availability and size of the discounts are outlined below:
- 30% Discount: for students supplying robot set AND laptop.
- 15% Discount: for students supplying a laptop only. Note: This option is only available if the team has MINDSTORMS sets available.
- 15% Discount: for students supplying a robotic kit only. Note: This option is only available if the team has laptops available. Priority goes to those using team equipment.
Please note that some courses have additional equipment requirements!
Family: A single family enrolling 3 or more children in a single class may be eligible for a family discount.
What age limits apply to your classes?
In general, our classes are best received by students aged 7+. However, previous students have been aged 5 to 105! Prospective students are welcome to contact us to discuss their ability to cope with the class.
NOTE: We are experimenting with the “Junior” classes in both after-school and school holiday workshops. These classes are designed for ages 5-8.
In general, we will accept any student aged 7+ without the need for supervision (although adults are welcome to stay and observe). Students under 7 will be accepted if they have an older helper (parent/grandparent/sibling etc.) willing to help supervise during the class. This helper is welcome to sign up as a full student at normal cost, or just observe and help where needed.
What robotics platform do you use in classes?
We use LEGO® Robotics platforms. The majority of students still use MINDSTORMS EV3®, but uptake of SPIKE Prime is starting to increase. Both platforms are equally useable. We generally recommend that new students purchase SPIKE Prime.
Do I have to go attend the host school attend a Robo Club?
Not usually, but there are some exceptions. In most cases, all children (and parents!) are welcome to join in. Contact Us for information about a specific class.
Should I buy a robotics kit?
Because of the “Own Equipment” discount, we recommend students purchase their own kits if they are going to be attending lessons for > 2 terms. The price difference pays for the set over time.
What’s the procedure for joining a Robo Club?
Most importantly, there has to be room! Contact us to check for space in an individual class. New Robo Club students should register via for a three-week (paid) trial period TryBooking . This allows a student to master the basics and decide if they enjoy the classes. Once the trial period has come to an end, continuing students register by the term thereafter.
How many children can work with a single Robot?
All Project Bucephalus activities adhere to a maximum of two students per robot and computer. Experience has shown us that greater ratios usually result in unhappy students and a disrupted class.
Adult oversight of a student (as mentioned in “Age Limits” above) is the only exception to this rule.
Can course content change?
Our Robo Camp outlines often describe multiple course activities that are planned for specific workshops. Every effort will be made to actually do these activities! However, course content may be altered depending on how the class is handling the material. For example:
- A class activity may be allowed to run over the allocated time if students are learning, but progressing more slowly than anticipated. This will probably result in a separate activity being cancelled or shortened.
- An activity may be abandoned if the students are struggling with the content.
Concerned parents (or children) are welcome to discuss the matter with Instructors to gain an explanation!