Etone College Smash Expectations in RAF Mighty Minds Challenge
On February 10th 2020, Etone College was visited by the Royal Air Force to take part in a robotics challenge aimed to inspire the next generation of engineers and computer scientists. This challenge, RAF Mighty Minds, tested 60 hand-picked individuals from years 7 and 8 who were chosen based on their exceptional computer science skills demonstrated within lessons. They were briefed that due to the shortage of engineers and computer scientists, currently a problem in the UK; it is now up to them to figure out and fix some of the world’s leading issues.
One current issue is surrounding Search and Rescue missions helping areas of the world hit by natural disasters and armed conflicts. Robotics are commonly used to inspect areas hazardous to humans such as poisonous gas or risk of explosion, or rescue civilians stuck in debris. The 60 students were placed into groups of 3 and had to program their very own robot, LEGO mindstorm, to complete many tasks simulating an area struck by a disaster such as: navigating a track from one end to the other, collect bricks (debris), rescue LEGO civilians – all in the name of teamwork and points!
The event itself was so positive in fact, the members representing the RAF praised the student’s for their ability to: think for themselves, work as a team, calculate a mathematical problem in their heads before programming it into their robots and maintaining respectful behaviour for the whole school day. However, the highlight of the event came at the every end. 1st place winners: Kwabena Kissi Baah, Jem Korzeniewski and Zakki Choonara achieved a score of around 150 points whilst 2nd place winners: Dylan Andrews, Sophie Naylor and Aman Isak achieved a score of around 130 point both “far outclassing” 4 other secondary schools within the West Midlands area who also took part in the RAF Mighty Minds; earning a place in the national robotics competition!