Geek Week was a range of activities and experiences designed to get students thinking and experiencing some of the latest technologies and how they are being used in the world around us to solve problems.
On Monday, the students visited City College Plymouth’s new STEM centre where they were given a tour of the facilities, including engineering, sciences, and construction. After this, students took control of a rover to guide it around a series of obstacles to simulate how autonomous rovers are being developed to help survey our oceans. Students then had an experience of Virtual Reality and how it is being used in training for the construction industry by having to fix a broken piece of equipment at the top of a skyscraper, which was surprisingly realistic! The afternoon involved testing materials to destruction using state of the art equipment to assess how much stress building materials can cope with.
On Tuesday, students were introduced to BBC microbit development boards where they learnt how to code them to respond to button presses, being shaken and then work on physical coding projects to build and program a set of miniature traffic lights.
On Wednesday students were given a robotics development kit, to build a robot that could move and respond to obstacles, follow lines and be programmed to work with radio control, using the students knowledge gained from learning about the microbit on the previous day. Students were able to program the robots to avoid obstacles, follow an object and navigate mazes, as well as using the sensors to follow a line on the floor.
On Thursday students were given the choice of working with Raspberry Pi computers to create a working computer system from scratch, then network them and create a Minecraft server. The team worked incredibly hard to get the network running and even managed to create a scale model of the Science department in Minecraft. Other students worked with Lego Mindstorms to build robots of their own design and use the programming language to create a working robot.
We completed the week on Friday with a trip to Belong Gaming Arena in the city centre, where students were given the challenge of working in teams on state of the art gaming systems to build a castle in Minecraft, which produced an excellent range of designs. Students also had the opportunity to experience VR gaming using the HTC Vive system. The successful week was brought to a close with a trip to Burger King and the “Geek of the Week” award awarded to Alex Hyder, who demonstrated excellent technical and scientific knowledge throughout the week.
Head of Biology