STEAM Launch Events Showcase Technological Wonders24 January 2020
This month’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) launch events saw students and staff witness a technological takeover, featuring an insightful Cornwall College-led course in games design, and a very special guest in the shape of RoboThespian – a fully interactive robot!
The College’s STEAM launch events are a way of introducing the school’s youngest students to a new way of working and learning, via multidisciplinary projects involving local industry contacts such as Engineered Arts (developers of RoboThespian) and Cornwall College – linking directly to pupils’ school projects.
Indeed, the Falmouth-based Engineered Arts – a company that develops a range of humanoid and semi-humanoid robots for worldwide communication and entertainment – showcased its groundbreaking work to students and staff earlier this month, as Design & Production Engineer, Marcus Hold, demonstrated the wonders of RoboThespian.
The humanoid not only provided hours of entertainment with its singing, dancing, and interaction with students, but also demonstrated its intelligence – detecting students’ gender and age, reading facial expressions to judge moods, and much more – much to the amazement of pupils and staff.
Additionally, students were treated to an insightful talk from Cornwall College Games Design Lecturer, Stephen Howard, who provided practical demonstrations on developing in-game characters and gaming platforms, before showcasing some of the impressive work produced by his students at Cornwall College.
And speaking following the launch events, Head of STEAM at Penryn College, Mr Childs, reflected on the importance of local businesses and colleges offering advice and knowledge. He said: “We were incredibly lucky to have two great STEAM launch events, where students had the opportunity to engage with members of staff from a local business and college offering their time to support Penryn College.
“The concepts of both Engineered Arts and Cornwall College’s demonstrations directly linked to our students’ STEAM projects: designing a moving display for a theme park, and developing environmental and super hero-themed video games,” he continued.
Alongside these special events, tireless work continues to develop the core elements of STEAM – including enhancing students’ applied skills to bring into college, university, and the workplace, alongside qualifications. And Mr Childs highlighted the fundamental components of the subject. He said: “STEAM at Penryn College is continuing to build on the creative problem-solving skills of our students – developing independent thinking and project management skills that are so valuable in the modern, fast-changing world of employment.
“Alongside the core elements of the subject, we are delighted to be able to champion the fantastic work of local businesses and colleges such as Engineered Arts and Cornwall College – while providing our pupils with wonderful insights into various industries,” he concluded.