STEM Robot Engineering Club
The STEM Club
LPGS entered the Tomorrow’s Engineers Lego Robotic Challenge during the Autumn term and we were successful in being provided with 2 Lego robots, expansion Lego brick kits and software to learn how to operate. Myself and Mr Fisher (Lead Technology Technician) were able to receive some valuable training to be able to teach students at KS3 how to build and programme the robots. Tomorrow’s Engineers explained to us that there would be a space challenge competition held in London in February that the students would work towards. We decided to run the sessions as an after school STEM club every Tuesday, so that anyone who wanted to attend in KS3 was welcome. We ran the club from October until February and during that time we were able to establish a committed group of students from year 7 and 8 that attended the club every week to learn about Robot Engineering and to practise applying new skills and knowledge to the space challenge missions. The space challenge was split into 2 sections, the research project presentation and the robot space challenge. The objective was for the students to complete 7 missions in less than 5 minutes. This meant students had to build and pre-programme their robots to be able to move, spin, pick up objects and much more. One of their favourite missions was the launch a rocket on Mars.
The Competition Day
Emma Knight 7GA, Amara Ray 7GA, Emily Tickem 7SH, Olivia Ma 8GB, Eloise Mason 8GB, Macey Pattenden 8GB, Nell Hudson 8LE, Miranda Jenik 8KC, Katie Dackombe 8KD and Alannah Whiteley 8GA were the final 10 students that attended the competition day.
On 24th February we travelled to Queen Mary’s University, East London to partake in the robot challenge, where we were up against many schools in and around the London regions. First up we had our first attempt to complete our 7 challenges in under 5 minutes. The girls were really nervous and wanted to do well and we managed to gain some points for the missions completed but they didn’t think it went well, fortunately we were able to try again later on in the afternoon. The second task was for our research group to present their findings on robots in space to the judges. The girls presented with passion and enthusiasm and their robot ideas really impressed the judges. The next task was a build challenge to be able to work in a group to build a Lego bridge, again the judges were really impressed with their determination, resilience and ability to communicate. The last task of the day was the final attempt at the space challenge. This time round, they were much calmer, they were able to tweak the programmes and construction of their robots so felt more confident. The girls were able to complete more of the missions and gained even more points this time!
This was our first year entering the Tomorrow’s Engineers Robot Challenge and although it was difficult, the students really enjoyed the experience and knowledge gained from this opportunity. Although we didn’t win any prizes at the competition, it has given the students the drive to try again and continue to develop and improve upon the space missions – so we will continue the club in the Summer term. The girls are really keen to partake in the challenge next year, which we have been told is sponsored by the RAF for an aviation challenge.
Future Robot Challenges
Our STEM Robot Engineering Club and Competition will run again next year and will be open to students from year 7-9. Keep your eyes peeled for the start date of this fantastic club next year!
Lead STEM in Technology