Thai students learn how to build a better robot


A young camper adjusts his manually-controlled robot. Photos courtesy of National Science Museum (NSM)

Students from underprivileged schools across Thailand finally had access to hands-on science, technology and robots, thanks to the recent "STEM Science Camp NSM-Seagate, Robot Maker", which recognised the importance of science awareness to Thai society.

The National Science Museum in collaboration with Seagate Technology (Thailand) organised the camp, which offered hands-on learning opportunities for 60 campers from several provinces such as Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Nayok and Pathum Thani.

Seagate has sponsored the camp since 2014 to provide students from underfunded schools across Thailand to gain new knowledge and experiences by visiting the museum and joining STEM camps. The 60 student participants are in Grade 4-9.

Rawin Rawiwong, president of the National Science Museum, said for co-operation this year, three STEM science camps were held at the museum in Pathum Thani in January and February. These camps include the Astronomy Camp, Young Flood Fighting Innovators Camp, and the Robot Maker Camp.

The Robot Maker camp provided inspiration for children to learn about robotic technologies. At the camp, these youngsters were challenged to design their own robots.

Students were taught how to build robots using two different types of systems -- manually controlled, which uses electronics, and automatically controlled, which relies on sensors to govern movement.

Participants also sat through lectures to further their studies in robotics. The first lecture titled "Following The Footsteps Of Intelligent Thinkers" was delivered by Akkharaphong Eksiri from the Faculty of Engineering at Bangkok University. The second lecture was by Narongdej Kiratiparanont from the Faculty of Engineering at Dhurakij Bundit University. He attracted young children's interests in robotic science with his talk titled "Brightening The Ideas And Becoming The Robots Developers". Narongdej is also an adviser for the "Luk Jao Mae Khlong Prapa" robot team, which has won ABU Robot Contest Championship for six years.

Sutasnee Rojanasoonthon, director of Asia Pacific, Communications & Community Engagement, Seagate Technology (Thailand), said the camp intended to encourage young people to develop an interest in science and technology by providing a fun learning environment.

"The Robot Maker camp offers them the opportunity to understand how to build a robot as well as provide them with great experiences in integrating both science and information technology in their studies," she said.

"When these young children apply science-based processes in their studies, they will be able to think and make decisions based on the selection of the right information."

Children compete with each other in the robots contest. National Science Museum (NSM)


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