| Zee Yusri |
ROBOTIC technology education in schools is no stranger to most of the developed and developing countries around the world with various initiatives undertaken by relevant stakeholders, particularly education ministries.
These initiatives include having robotics clubs in schools, integrating robotic technology in the learning curriculum and offering more courses in this field of study at higher education institutions.
Brunei’s Science, Technology and Environment Partnership (STEP) Centre initiative focuses on ‘Robotic and Technology Education’ (RaTE) with the aim of promoting and enhancing its development through activities such as local and international competitions for schools and universities as well as holding exhibitions, workshops and trainings.
The Brunei Robotics Olympiad (BRO) Open Category Competition for this year was held yesterday at the Airport Mall in Berakas where 36 students from eight secondary schools and four primary schools participated.
The competition emphasises creativity and innovation among students through interesting, fun-filled experiential learning. The theme of the competition was ‘Robot and Space’ and required participants to design and create robots that could assist with tasks carried out in space.
The competition uses the LEGO Mindstorms series of kits containing software and hardware to create small, customisable and programmable robots. They include a programmable ‘Brick’ computer that controls the system, a set of modular sensors and motors, and LEGO parts to create the mechanical systems to meet a set of challenges. The rules of BRO competitions are taken from the World Robot Olympiad Advisory Council.
The competition provides a platform for students to improve their technical literacy and computer programming skills through the Brick and ‘Robolab’/ NXT/ EV3/ LabView software.
BRO also aims to develop their design processes, cooperative strategies such as information gathering, analysing and problem solving, suggesting alternative solutions, building upon mathematical concepts and ideas, as well as exploring physical science principles in their creations.
The prize presentation for the competition was held in the afternoon.