Robotics challenge for Swindon pupils

By Barrie Hudson - 13 September 2021

EducationSecondary
  • Pupils Henry, left, and Eros, right

    Pupils Henry, left, and Eros, right

Lawn Manor Academy pupils will learn skills of the future thanks to a new focus on Robotics in their Computer Science lessons.

  • Lawn Manor Academy pupils Eva, left, and Shenaya

    Lawn Manor Academy pupils Eva, left, and Shenaya

The move coincides with the launch of the school’s first ever Technology Lab, where they can develop and extend their classroom learning in clubs and workshops.

Students across Years Seven, Eight and Nine will be taking part in ‘Project Enthuse’, which the school hopes will encourage them to explore opportunities within engineering and technology.  

As part of this, they will be learning to program mini robotic buggies and have the option to compete in two national robotics competitions this academic year - the EEP Robotics Challenge and the Vex IQ Challenge.

The robotics competitions require teams to build, code and drive a robot to solve an engineering-based problem.  The pupils will use the computer-based coding skills they learn in lessons to go head-to-head on a national scale in the competitions taking place early next year.

Lawn Manor Academy Head of Creative Technologies Darren Beecher said: “Robotics is an excellent addition to the school.  Studying robotics demystifies our world and helps our students understand everything around them, especially as life becomes more and more automated.  

“The subject involves so many disciplines; engineering, mathematics, problem solving and team work, and as soon as they’re able to get their hands on something physical they get more involved with it and inspired to learn.  

"We have found that there’s no gender divide with regard to skill in robotics, and often both boys and girls working together can bring new ways of looking at problems.  We want our pupils to engage with the technology, to understand it and not be afraid of it.   

“This is a great way of introducing the diverse opportunities that engineering offers, even just within the area of coding there are so many different paths and it’s growing every day.  

"I hope that by offering these extra opportunities, students may find paths they may not have gone down if they were not introduced to this kind of technology. Especially as a large number of technology related jobs are not filled each year in Swindon, this may spark life-changing interests in our students.”

For those not yet ready to take their skills to the competitive level, new extra-curricular coding and robotics clubs will be starting this term thanks to the new Technology Lab.  

This, teachers say, gives everyone the opportunity to be able to nurture and develop their interests - and even prepare themselves for career paths and job opportunities in the future which haven’t been thought of yet.

More information about Lawn Manor Academy can be found at www.lawnmanor.org

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