The 'Masterclasses on the Move' bus visits Elmlea Junior School to deliver a robotics workshop

Clifton High continued its ‘Masterclasses on the Move’ initiative last week, with a team of Clifton High teachers and Sixth Form students visiting Elmlea Junior School to introduce ninety Year 6 pupils to the exciting and complex world of robotics. The children discovered what robots were and what they can do, both in real life and in films. The Clifton High team brought along some of the School’s robots to demonstrate this: our Sixth Form Robotics Club showed how their robot could move towards a target cube and then wind up a winch to collect boxes, whilst Mr Noyce brought a walking robot, a balloon-popping robot, and an impressive robot that can balance on two wheels, similar to a ‘Segway’.

The highlight of the visit however was undoubtedly seeing the Elmlea pupils constructing their own robots. Half of the group focused on the mechanical and electrical building of mini robots from a kit of parts, whilst the other half delved into the intricate world of programing computers. Each team had their own BBC Micro-bit computer which enabled the robot to move forward, left and right as well as follow a programmed sequence. Clifton High's Dr Camacho commented on the “great enthusiasm and skill” shown by Elmlea pupils and that many of the robots successfully moved as designed by the children. One robot, ‘Bumble Bee’, was particularly impressive, as the team managed to programme it to drive on a pre-selected path. It seemed clear that the children enjoyed developing key engineering skills of team work, problem solving and adaptability. The three winning teams were allowed to keep their robots so that they can refine these attributes further. Thank you to everyone who helped make the day such a success.