Merriwa-based KodeKLIX a finalist in Premier’s Science Awards

 The Coplin kids try out dad's invention, the KodeKlix electronics. Picture: Bruce Hunt d485034
The Coplin kids try out dad's invention, the KodeKlix electronics. Picture: Bruce Hunt d485034

A MERRIWA family’s electronic circuit technology KodeKLIX is in the running for the 2018 Premier’s Science Awards.

The teaching system is one of four finalists for the science engagement initiative of the year category.

Nick and Gillian Coplin created the system in 2011 so they could share their passion for engineering with their children Ellie (13) and Rory (12).

The couple wanted to help children develop practical skills in electronics and coding through kits that they distribute to schools with supporting teaching materials.

It focuses on real-world engineering problems using Blockly, a visual coding language by Google, and snap-together components to build electronic circuits.

“Our goal for KodeKLIX is to enable as many children as possible to experience Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) and digital technology in a positive way as early as possible,” Mrs Coplin said.

“Our aim is that they will not just use technology but understand how it works and be inspired to meet the challenges ahead for their generation.”

Mr Coplin has volunteered to run a co-curricular program at Peter Moyes Anglican Community School since 2016 and his children help run it after school.

Last year Coplin Corp received a WA Government Innovation Voucher to develop the educational hardware system and align it to the national curriculum.

Mrs Coplin said the grant enabled them to collaborate with the Association of Independent Schools of WA and run a trial in eight schools across Perth last year.

“So far this year over 20 WA schools have implemented KodeKLIX in their classrooms,” she said.

The company is also a semi-finalist for the growth category of the WA Innovator of the Year awards, with finalists due to be announced on July 30.

There are 18 finalists across the four categories in the Premier’s Science Awards.

Winners will be announced on August 15 during National Science Week.

Premier’s Science Award finalists 

Scientist of the Year: Professor Phil Bland (Curtin University); Professor Peter Newman (Curtin University); Professor Robert Newton (ECU); Professor Stephen Zubrick (UWA).

Early Career Scientist of the Year: Wensu Chen (Curtin University); Adam Cross (Curtin University); Haibo Jiang (UWA); Katarina Miljkovic (Curtin University); Melissa O’Donnell (UWA).

Student Scientist of the Year: Lucy Furfaro (UWA); Fernando Perez (UWA); Claire Ross (UWA); Arman Siahvashi (UWA); Ryan Urquhart (Curtin University).

Science Engagement Initiative of the Year: KodeKLIX (Coplin Corp Pty Ltd); Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park (Kings Park – Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority); Stimulating the Public Interest in Astronomy and its History (Perth Observatory Volunteer Group); The Virtual Plant Cell (The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, UWA).