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Naga City school students explore robotics

/ 08:29 AM March 27, 2013

THE Dr. Caridad C. Labe (CCL) Education CentrEx Robotics Team, which the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) sponsored during the World Robotics Olympiad in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, conducted a three-day robotics training to 46 public elementary and high school students from Naga City, Cebu last March  7 to 9 at the Naga National High School.

The training, a part of the sponsorship agreement between the team and RAFI, aims to introduce robotics as a 21st century approach to learning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) through experiential activities.

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“We wanted to promote robotics in as many schools as possible not only for students to have a fun way of applying what they learned in the said subjects, but for them to also develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills,” Rachel Labe, president of CCL Education CentrEx School, said.

The training design is based on the robotics curriculum implemented in the school, which sees robotics as a motivational tool to excite learners to study science and technology.

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The school’s Robotics Team placed first and fourth in the 2012 Philippine Robotics Olympiad and represented the Philippines in the World Robotics Olympiad in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last November.

For their final output, the participants were made to design their own robots. The robots are equipped with sensors?touch, light, color, sound, and ultrasonic, among others?to respond to their environment.

Using LEGO Mindstorm, the students created a program to make their mechanical design function and respond to outside stimuli. The program was then downloaded to the NXT, a small computer that acts as the brain of the robot.

Dr. Senen Paulin, division superintendent of Department of Education (DepEd)-Naga City, said he was impressed with the students’ demonstrations during the training. He disclosed, to the delight of the students and their teacher-coaches, that robotics has been included in the budget for the next school year.

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