The Franco-Danish School in Copenhagen has landed in the spotlight after winning the prestigious Ultimate Arduino Challenge – a globally renowned competition for professional engineers.
Located on Tagensvej in the Nordvest district of the Danish capital, the school won the contest with its ‘Dark Side Rover V0.1′, a semi-autonomous robot concept aimed at engaging children of all ages in STEM, from kindergarten to high school and beyond.
By sending commands to the robot via Internet and reading the robot’s responses, the children can solve missions at the other end of the planet. In the process they build up an authentic understanding of what it takes to make a robot do things by itself, learn programming, computational thinking, design thinking and math.
“By addressing a real-world problem, I think we have cracked the nut of creating relevant, authentic content for STEM teaching,” said Nicolas Guilbert, the principal of The Franco-Danish School and project lead developer.”
“We see that the children get motivated and stay motivated, in particular the girls. By being interesting and personally developing for adults too, the Dark Side Challenge also engages the teachers, the main factor in making the lessons successful.”
Tantalising Turin trip
Over the course of four months, participants were tasked with developing a concept from an idea to a functional IoT (Internet of Things) prototype.
The jury was particularly focused on whether projects demonstrated a convincing and innovative solution to a problem facing the world today – a solution that was well-documented, functional, open source and which could be implemented by others.
The Ultimate Arduino Challenge is organised by the leading open-source electronics firms Arduino, Mouser and Microchip and the jury panel consisted of experts from the global professional electronics industry.
The winning prize for the school was a trip to the Arduino development center and factory in Turin.