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2018-06-19





Successful robot course for high school students

Lightning McQueen, a shark, a bee and … creativity flourished during this spring’s robot course for pupils at the senior high school Kattegattgymnasiet in Halmstad. During the course, which was given in collaboration between the high school and Halmstad University, the pupils constructed, programmed and designed their own robots.

– In less than 20 hours, our pupils have acquired basic knowledge in programming and electronics. They have learned how to develop the robot so it reacts to its surroundings using sensors and moves in a desired pattern, says Mats Gustafsson, one of four dedicated high school teachers.

Three classes in the second year at the science programme Da Vinci at Kattegattgymnasiet participated in the robot course for a couple of weeks during the spring semester. PhD students and researchers from Halmstad University have been the pupils’ teachers.

Emilia Bengtsson, gymnasieelev

”It has been difficult – but fun at the same time! The researchers from the University helped us a lot”, says high school pupil Emilia Bengtsson.

– They are so creative! I like their robots very much. The pupils have learned rapidly during the course, says Jennifer David, PhD student at the School of Information Technology at Halmstad University.

The pupils were given building kits for the technical design of the robots, as well as parts of the code required for programming. However, the outer design was entirely created by them, which is the reason for the diverse and unique look of the finished robots.

The mission was to get the robots to perform certain tasks, including blinking, turning in a certain direction when hitting a wall and making a U-turn. One of the robots that best performed these tasks was the blue truck created by Erik Weidow and his two classmates.

– This is a great and creative way of introducing technology and programming at school, says Erik Weidow.

Introducing robotics at an early age

Eren Erdal Aksoy, Assistant Professor at the School of Information Technology, has been in charge of the robot course:

– This is the second year we complete the course for high school pupils at Da Vinci. It is really rewarding to see their commitment and progression. It is important for our future society that children and young people become interested and engaged in technology, he says and continues:

– Halmstad University is teaching this course very seriously since we consider these students as our potential future bachelor, master and even PhD students. Therefore, we would like to motivate them to get the wonderful taste of robotics at a young age. Surveys from previous years show that after completing this robot course, most of the students changed their minds and decided to study engineering after graduating high school. This outcome highlights the importance of this course for Sweden.

Teachers

Fredrik Larvall, high school teacher, Eren Erdal Aksoy, Assistant Professor at the School of Information Technology, Mats Gustafsson, high school teacher and Jennifer David, PhD student at the School of Information Technology.

Text and photos: LOUISE WANDEL

This is a great and creative way of introducing technology and programming at school, says high school pupil Erik Weidow.

Erik Weidow

On the question of what he wants to study after high school, Erik Weidow answers: ”I want to be an engineer, maybe within programming.

Tilda Jönsson

Tilda Jönsson (pictured) and classmate Linnea Nilsson created a candy car robot. They liked the robot course, even though the programming was a bit difficult. Tilda would like to attend Chalmers when she graduates from high school and Linnea is thinking of a future in environmental science.

Dana Verga, gymnasielärare

Dana Varga is a maths and physics teacher at Kattegattgymnasiet. ”The students have worked well and concentrated, they ’disappear’ into the task. I hope many of them continue with a technical education.

Robotkurs Da Vinci

The outer design was entirely created by the high school pupils, which is the reason for the diverse and unique look of the finished robots.

Updated 2018-06-19