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Zero Robotics is out of this world

Zero Robotics is a computing competition that is, literally, out of this world. Organised by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and NASA, and welcoming entries from ESA member states (including the UK), it offers secondary school students the chance to solve space challenges and control robots on the International Space...

Bringing AI and robots into the classroom

From films like I, Robot to the current BBC series on Intelligent machines, artificial intelligence is a topic which excites students and brings together science, technology, engineering, maths and computing in fascinating contexts. The development of artificial intelligence seems to be gaining pace now (see these fifteen key moments in the story...

Girls Can Code - so why aren't they?

Girls Can Code is a BBC Three programme where five girls, who confess to disliking technology, are challenged to create a successful app in five days, or more accurately, five grown women with different interests. All of these girls who like their tech, without understanding how it works, come up with a marketable idea for an app that is pitched to...

Perfect problem solving with Bojagi

As a mathematics teacher, I like to start the term with some basic number skills with my KS3 groups. This choice is grounded in solid reasoning: check the pupils have got a grasp of the basics before moving on to another topic. Prime factor trees make great display work, and Pascal’s Triangle can have the ‘wow’ factor. But how else can that start-of-the-new...

Scratching the surface: coding ideas for primary schools

A secondary school computing teacher told me recently that children from one of their feeder schools had no experience of Scratch (an almost-ubiquitous block-based programming environment) so they had to provide some remedial intervention. The surprising thing about this statement is that only one of the schools doesn't use the programming...

Radars, three times the speed of sound – this is the world of engineering!

When you shout across the playing field at school, your voice is travelling at around 343 metres per second. In miles per hour, that’s 767mph! Despite what a Year 9 once told me, it is definitely a lot faster than “that lad in Year 10 who’s got trials for county athletics”.So, why am I talking about the speed of sound? I read a news report ...

Teacher Industrial Partners’ Scheme: teacher experiences

Teacher Industrial Partners’ Scheme (TIPS) enables teachers of science, design and technology, computing and mathematics to attend a two week work placement with a local employer. This scheme connects companies and teachers together to help expand the knowledge of the potential careers available to pupils, with the main aim of educating and inspiring...

Why I love Chicks with Bricks

Today the wonderfully named ‘Chicks with Bricks’ – a group celebrating women in construction roles and industries – are having a celebration event.Unfortunately I can’t make it this time but I went to one not so long ago, meeting a vast range of women, and men, working on major and not so major projects, and all with great stories to tell. It was a...

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