42 Volts hit the road to Birmingham

42 Volts hit the road to Birmingham

By Chloe Middleton
18 March 2016

As you might have seen over the past couple of weeks we have been introducing you to the 42 Volts team and spreading the word about the Vex Robotics competition we’re supporting them with. The team of pupils from The Priory Academy LSST School are at the National Finals in Birmingham having arrived on Thursday, the event continues across the weekend.

It’s not just the team of pupils who have been working hard though. The students were introduced and have been supported through the project by their Teacher Mr Jones who we spoke to about the event and how the school got involved.

Our involvement in Vex Robotics began in Sept 2014 when a parent who worked at RAF Waddington had heard that Northrop Grumman Ltd who manufacture military bomb disposal robots were buying £1000 of Vex Robotics gear for new teams.  We signed up and got the leg up we needed to start the activity.

As we only had enough gear for one team I selected the five sixth form team members in 2014 and also selected the current team in September 2015.  My choice was based on their previous performance in STEM subjects. There is strong interest amongst students for a bigger robotics club with several teams, however this is not affordable at present.  We applied unsuccessfully to National Grid for more funding last year. This is why Software Europe’s support is so important for the team to progress in the competition.

The competition promotes innovative thinking both in design of the robots and in programming the robots. The students develop softer skills in working as a team, communication, presenting and planning.

The students all take GCSE Electronics, some take Computing. All the members of 42 Volts are following a STEM based path through A Levels from September.  The activity is very useful in enabling students to apply theoretical knowledge in a practical context.

Good Luck 42 Volts! We’ll be keeping up to date on social media with how the team are progressing though the competition. Follow them @42volts on twitter. 

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