Engineering lecturer working on robot project with primary school pupils

Engineering students mentor primary pupils in school STEM week robot tournament

A team of our first- and second-year engineering students, along with engineering lecturer Ian Watts, have been out and about encouraging pupils from a local primary school to discover the possibilities within STEM by taking part in robot tournament as part of the school’s STEM week.

Under the mentorship of our engineering students, 120 pupils from years three to six constructed ‘Antweight’ robots, which were tested in various competitions including football, sumo, and an assault course. The sumo competition was a particular hit.

The event was split into two sessions, The first hour was dedicated to building ‘Antweight’ robots under the guidance of first and second-year engineering students. Pupils experienced robot construction first-hand, with the aim of nurturing an interest in robotics and engineering.

Next up was as series of robot challenges. Pupils evaluated their robots in three different fields: football, sumo wrestling, and an assault course. These contests showcased the students’ skills and the abilities of their robots.

Every challenge entailed distinctive strategies and offered unique obstacles. The robot football necessitated strategic navigation, the sumo wrestling emphasised strength and equilibrium, while the assault course evaluated the robots’ speed and dexterity.

Each session ended with an exhilarating sumo contest. All robots competed to push their opponents off the table, with the final robot standing declared as the champion.

Pupils, teachers, parents, and members of the community came to watch. The event was well-received, prompting the school to invite Ian and his team to arrange a similar event in the future. The success of the tournament underscores the value of experiential learning in fostering STEM education.

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