A High School in Koror, Palau has a fun way of teaching and getting students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through teaching them to build robots.
Unknown to many Palauans, the Robotics class by the 12th graders of the Mindszenty High School is now on its second year and has already catered to a total of 36 students since it was launched.
In an interview, Fr. Robert Richard McAuliff, Mindszenty High School Principal, said that through this method of teaching, kids who normally frown upon Math, Science and Engineering would develop interest on the subjects.
“This is a way of getting them really interested – you know building robots and doing all the software it takes to make them operate the stuff – the kids are doing the science, they are doing the Math, they are doing quality Engineering, but [while doing these] they think they are playing and having fun,” McAuliff said.
The class is supported by the Taiwan Small Grants which was acquired by the school through the help of the Office of the President.
In two to three years from now, the school also plans to start doing submersible robots with cameras that can record data that could help in monitoring the conditions of corals.
Through the grant, the school is able to get all the materials they needed that could last up to three
to four years.
Mindszenty Robotics class Teacher, Paul Cruz, said in a separate interview that they make the robots through the Vex Robotics platform.
The robots, which are called clawbots because they each possess a claw, has its own programming and they could be used to pick up or grab lightweight objects and move them into another place.
Clawbots are operated through a joystick and is powered by a 7.2-volt rechargeable battery.
The robot kit from Vex Robotics has its own progr
ams but these could be reprogrammed to one’s liking if one wishes to add more motor functions for the robots.
“The application is for students to understand the concept of robotics so that later on they can also experience the other platforms and it is easy for them to adopt other platforms,” Cruz said.
By building the robots, Math, Science, and Engineering skills are applied as it entails concepts related to these subject matters such as programming, electronics, and etc. (Rhealyn C. Pojas/Reporter)