Robotics builds connections

01 Aug 2017

A shared interest can go a long way in breaking down barriers, as the boys who took part in a recent intensive robotics workshop soon discovered. Nine boys – three Year 11 students, three Year 9 students and three international guests – bonded over their enthusiasm for robotics and the opportunity to spend uninterrupted time building their own arduino rovers.

With the older College boys acting as mentors and helping out with some of the trickier aspects of engineering, and the younger College boys each buddied with a visitor, all the boys happily focused on the task at hand.

“Robotics is so much fun,” says Year 9 student William Picton-Warlow. “It’s hands-on, you’ve got to use your brain, and it’s creative. You have to find a solution for all aspects of design, know where you’ll use all the components, build the rover, and code everything so it works the way you want it to.”

His comments were echoed by Chinese student Jerry, who says he has loved visiting College and mixing with and learning alongside the older boys.

The programme ended with a presentation on the Friday evening where, despite a few technical hitches, the audience watched several games of “robotics football” and the ranging rovers navigated round the room.

The idea for the robotics workshop originated from a discussion between future College parent and travel agent Mei Staples and International Student Manager Deanne Gath. Director of ICT Paul Rodley and HOD Design & Technology Kevin Harris came on board and, along with science teacher Arthur McGregor, devised and ran the programme.

The two-day workshop was held at College on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 July.

Participants included Year 11 students Will Hammond, James Criglington and Mark Ma, Year 9 students William Picton-Warlow, Sam Pinckney and Dominic Kerr, and Zhan Mo (Tiger) Ren, Yi Xuan (Kimi) Deng and You Jie (Jerry) Li from Dong Feng Dong Primary School in Guangzhou, China. As well as taking part in the robotics programme, the three Chinese boys also stayed in Richards House, enjoying an immersive College boarding experience. They left after breakfast on Saturday 29 July.