Chilean students design “intelligent friends”

For the second year running students from seventh through 10th grades have been working on robots that move about their classrooms. The idea is to bring students closer to science and technology in a fun and dynamic way.

"Intelligent friends"

Patience, inventiveness, comradeship.
These were fundamental to the success of one of the 31 winning proposals of the 10th National Competition of Explora Clubs for the Appreciation and Dissemination of Science, Technology and Innovation.

With these ingredients a group of students belonging to the “Bicentenary Robot Club” of Aysén, in Chile’s Patagonia, built wind and solar-powered Lego and Fisher Technik-type machines for the second year running. In this way they will breathe life into small cars, dogs and spiders, among other objects, so that they can move about the classroom or other spaces.

The initiative’s main goal is to bring students closer to science in a fun way to arouse their interest in understanding new technologies. In addition, the club includes chats by experts with varied robotics displays. Teamwork is another thing the program is counting on.

“It’s lots of fun to make robots! Everybody has their own opinion and they share them so we can do a good job,” says Daniela Diaz, a 16-year-old student who is part of the group. Her colleague and peer Nicolás Valle agrees with her. “I like to find solutions to problems, which is why they club has motivated me to learn,” the young scientist says.

Other achievements

The history of this work team has been plagued by victories. In 2008 and 2009 they won the “First Lego League” in Punta Arenas, a competition in which they overcame diverse challenges like using sensors and programming multiple objects in 2.5 minutes.

Furthermore, last year they participated in the Fifth Inter-school Robotics Competition organized by the Universidad Andrés Bello in Santiago, where they faced teams from all the country’s regions. The goal? To learn to be meticulous, to share ideas, and to develop scientific thought, abilities that the club wants to foster among its members.