Calthorpe Park Take Part In Robot Construction Challenge At QinetiQ
Farnborough, 29th November 2013: Pupils from Calthorpe Park School took part in QinetiQ’s 3rd annual ‘Robolympics’ at its HQ in Farnborough last week; an event supporting local schools in inspiring young people into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and careers.
The school was invited to send children aged 11- 16 to take part in the motorsport-themed day with three challenges. In teams of four, the children constructed robots from LEGO Mindstorms NXT kits and then competed against each other in an autotest parking, land speed record attempt and off-road rally challenges. For inspiration the teams also got to drive some of QinetiQ’s robots and the award-winning hovercraft robot by Grey Matter Robotics whilst at the event.
With only one hour to prepare for each event, the pressure was on to work as a team to design, build, program and test as many of their ideas as possible before entering their most successful designs into each competition. The teams put a great deal of effort into the competition to earn their trophies.
Michael Thompson, a systems engineer from QinetiQ, and STEM Outreach ambassador, said: “We were delighted to be able to hold the 3rd annual ‘Robolympics’ at QinetiQ. We have enjoyed designing the challenges and helping the children with their robot constructions. The standard of the teams’ robots exceeded our expectations: one team scored maximum points on the first challenge and on the land speed record all the teams beat the benchmark time we set in testing. Holding an event like this allows the children to use their imagination and design capabilities in a fun environment, whilst hopefully inspiring them about the exciting career opportunities they could pursue involving STEM subjects in the future.”
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