Inter-school STEM Club success
Posted: Tuesday 11 July 2017
Great success for Aberdeen school pupils from the inter-school STEM Club hosted at Robert Gordon’s College. This year 21 pupils from Torry Academy and Robert Gordon’s College formed a single STEM club and produced a total of 6 new robots for a national contest.
This year’s Rampaging Chariots competition took place on the 10th of June in Edinburgh at the defence engineering company Leonardo. Our pupils competed against 54 robots and 117 competitors from all over Scotland in a demanding test of engineering, driver skill and determination. The robots raced around an assault course, played 2-a-side football, did tug-of-war and sumo wrestled with each other. All of our pupils produced working robots from scratch and did a great job of representing Aberdeen at the competition.
We are particularly pleased to announce that we were able to secure multiple trophies. Team ‘Smeagol’ from Robert Gordon’s College took 1st place in the sumo wrestle while 2nd place went to team ‘Nemisis’ from Torry Academy. Two groups from Torry worked together to win the football event and were crowned overall champions of the contest. Finally, for the tug-of-war event the senior team from Robert Gordon’s College designed and produced a very special robot called Tiny Tim. This custom robot was very difficult to build but boasts a range of significant advantages over the competition including an impressive gear ratio, being fully tracked and using a chain drive system. While this robot immediately impressed the organisers, technical difficulties meant that it was unable to win the event for which it was designed. The team were however awarded the prestigious ‘best engineered’ trophy for their efforts. We were also asked to participate in the invitation only advanced autonomous robotics competition next year. We are currently exploring ways to continue and expand our efforts next year such as including a wider range of pupils and participating in other contests.
The pupils involved with this project have learned a great deal this year about electronics, woodwork, metalwork, problem solving and troubleshooting. Perhaps more importantly though, this joint project has provided an invaluable social opportunity as pupils from different schools have been able to get to know each other over an extended time period.
Mr Clark, Teacher of Physics and STEM Club Leader said: “It has been a privilege to facilitate and mentor the pupils from both schools each week this year. I’ve been inspired by the pupil’s talents but also by how well the pupils have consistently responded to each challenge with enthusiasm, determination and good humour.
Mr Farmer, Head of Physics at Robert Gordon’s College: “It has been good to see the STEM Club grow from strength to strength, especially the coming together of pupils from two different schools to produce a strong team working together and helping each other. Winning so many trophies is the icing on the cake and just rewards for the pupils’ efforts and the leadership of Mr Clark.”
Both schools are keen to continue this partnership next year and we are looking at how we might further extend this to provide the same opportunity to pupils from other schools too. If you are a teacher at an Aberdeen school who is interested in joining this group, please contact David Clark, Robert Gordon’s College.