Robot future comes to Hillcrest

05 June 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201914747

Automation & Robotics
Education & Training

ROBOTICS has come to Hillcrest in the form of a collaboration between the Society For Automation Instrumentation Measurement (SAIMC), Hillcrest Rotary Club, and Hillcrest High School.

Johannes de Vries, representing robotic contest First Tech Challenge, gave a presentation at the school recently, demonstrating a robot to staff and interested students.

The Durban branch of the SAIMC has donated a First Tech Challenge starter kit to the value of R20 000 to the school.

Robot future comes to Hillcrest

“With strong support from very active school leadership, teaching staff, and the local Rotary Club of Hillcrest, robotics has been placed on the extra mural curriculum going forward,” said SAIMC Durban Branch Secretary John Owen-Ellis.

Principal Craig Girvin thanked the team for the donation and for their support with the new venture. Hillcrest High School will form a team hoping to participate in future First Tech Challenges.

The annual competitions are for teams (10+ members, grades 7-12) that are asked to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format.

Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles (like keeping an engineering notebook), while realising the value of hard work, innovation, and sharing ideas.

The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and can be programmed using a variety of languages, including Java.

Teams also must raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach for which they can win awards.

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