Robotics in action, inspiring the next generation of engineers, designers and technicians.
Since September, the leading engineering group British Engines has been kindly sponsoring our new Robotics Partnerships teacher, Dr Steve Bunce, to work with the RGS and across our partner state schools. With their roots firmly in the North East too they recognise the raw talent in our region and are keen to be a driving force in developing the opportunities available in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM).
Over the past few months our Director of Partnerships, John Smith, has been busy continuing to build a network of collaboration, creativity and curiosity to shape the future trailblazers and positive game changers in our society.
Dr Bunce explains, "children have forgotten what engineering is, so we see it as part of our educational role to share the possibilities out there and how integral it is to today's way of working in so many industries.
"Predominantly working with the Engineering Design Technology (EDT) and Computer Science departments, some projects have also involved cross-curricular work with art, from the Architecture Society to emulating Leonardo da Vinci while drawing hands to refine the resemblance for a prosthetics project.
"I split my time during the week teaching EDT at RGS, focusing on the electronics within the design engineering part of the curriculum and building relationships across the region by supporting state school teachers through expertise and resources, while also trying to inspire students."
Steve has been leading many activity days in our partner schools introducing young students to STEAM using real life examples of sustainability, as a theme for example through electric cars to link to their current topic. Additionally, regular school visits have enabled our robotics equipment to be widely used to facilitate a range of student-led work, culminating in project presentations.
VEX Robotics and Lego competitions have been a great way of engaging students, providing a forum to learn from each other and draw upon each others' strengths as a team. The video below shows a recent scrimmage we invited Ponteland High School to, giving them the chance to get a feel for the event arena and share ideas with our students on the challenge ahead in a relaxed environment.
A team of four students from RGS travelled with Prudhoe High School to Telford in March to the VEX National Finals, after successfully progressing through the regional finals, where there were 20 registered schools. The finals, with 60 excellent teams from across the UK, was a memorable experience for all students and staff involved.
Next projects include robots and the industrial revolution, engineering with video games, visiting the VEX Robotics Partner Summit in Silverstone and an exciting product design and architecture collaboration with Newcastle University.