Campus and Community

ROB9-16: Inspiring future engineers

The initiative takes place at Taguspark campus and aims to increase student engagement with technology, programming, electronics, telecommunications, etc.

17 students aged between 9 and 13 participated in the ROB9-16 Maker Week. “Robots are very important and will be even more important in the future, so it is very important that we know how to use them and learn how to control them”, says Filipe Proença, one of the participants in this year’s edition. He had no doubts that he wanted to spend this week at Taguspark campus to “learn more about robotics”, said the 11-year-old boy.

“I’m really enjoying everything, but if I had to choose something in particular, I would say that learning C programming was what I enjoyed the most”, says Filipe Proença, who also shared “I want to be a theoretical physicist. No one has influenced me, it’s a personal interest. I want to study at Técnico because the best scientists are there. I don’t remember everyone’s name, just Vítor Cardoso. The first time I saw him was on a TV show and I was really fascinated”.

Combining knowledge with fun, the ROB9-16 activities are thought out in detail so that each moment provides the acquisition of knowledge and stimulates learning. The activities are structured in short thematic modules, ranging from robotics to telecommunications, with a strong practical component, but based on theoretical basis provided at the beginning of each module, according to the age and profile of participants.

Pedro Maria and Miguel Oliveira, Computer Science and Engineering students, are responsible for guiding participants during the activities. This Tuesday, July 13, the participants had the opportunity to learn more about C programming with Arduino. The challenge was to make a robot capable of performing a specific circuit continuously. “Do you think it’s difficult?” – asked Pedro Maria. The answer was “yes”. “I’m glad, because it really is”, he said joking.

“I like to learn new things and I had already come to ROB9-16 once. I enjoyed it a lot the last time I was here, so I wanted to repeat this experience”, says the 11-year-old girl Margarida Lopes.

“Before the pandemic we had more fun because we had the opportunity to get to know our colleagues better”, says Margarida Lopes. She certainly says so because most of the activities were carried out in groups and now they are carried out individually, in order to comply with the safety standards.

This is the first time that the 10-year-old Pedro Rodrigues participates in ROB 9-16. He is genuinely happy and eager to learn. He wants to be a veterinarian, but when we asked him if he hadn’t been tempted to follow engineering after ROB 9-16 experience, he said smiling: “Maybe I will change my mind and I consider studying engineering”.

“This is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve been here and I always learn something new”, says the 13-year-old boy, Miguel Mota. He tells us that one day he wants to work in this field and that he is already studying hard.

Last week, 12th – 16th July, ROB9-16 activities were aimed at secondary school students.