Independent educational provider Curro saw two of its South African schools — Grantleigh and Meridian Cosmo City — walk away with gold and silver medals respectively at the World Robot Olympiad‘s national finals held in Pretoria earlier this month.
This year’s theme “Rap The Scrap” focuses on best recycling practices. Students were required to build LEGO-based robots which could reduce or manage recyclable waste.
The Grantleigh team, consisting of 16-year old Dominique Spies and 15-year old Bonga Gumbi, designed a robot which sorts waste into its respective recycling containers at recycling plants. The team’s robot had two minutes to complete its given challenge without damaging the containers.
Alan Lewis, a robotics teacher at Curro Grantleigh expressed his pride at the news of his team attending the WRO world finals: “I had a team that went to Qatar last year. This year I have a senior team qualifying for the world finals in Delhi”.
Curro Grantleigh incorporated robotics as a subject to their curriculum in 2011 for grades R to 6
The silver medalist, Meridian Cosmo City, consisted of grade six learners Tshimologo Mafokosho and Rethabile Moeketsi. The team designed a robot that could clean littered caves, especially in areas too tight for fully-grown adults to navigate.
The team tested its robot at the Rising Star cave — the cave in which Homo Naledi was discovered. The robot has been designed so that it can embark on cave expeditions, collecting litter and rubble along the way.
“I am very happy with the achievement. This is just the best moment so far,” said Mafokosho.
The WRO was founded in 2004 and consists of 50 countries which have more than 20 000 teams competing each year.
Curro Grantleigh will compete at the WRO world finals in New Delhi in November.