High schools in GenSan to integrate robotics technology

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/29 August)– Public and private high schools here will soon integrate robotics technology as part of their information and communication technology or ICT programs.

Percival Pasuelo, executive assistant for information technology of the city mayor’s office, said they have forged partnerships with various secondary schools in the city for the mainstreaming of computer-based robotics training among students through their computer education classes.

He said such development came after the city government launched earlier this month a series of free robotics training for high school students and teachers through its enhanced SHEEP-computer literacy program (CLP).

SHEEP stands for Social Transformation, Human Empowerment, Economic Diversification, Environment Security and Regeneration and Participatory Governance and Transparency, which are the city’s main development thrusts.

The city government earlier launched the CLP as a major component of the SHEEP program’s education-related initiatives.

Pasuelo said an initial 47 high schools in the area participated in the training program, which focused mainly on basic robotics.

He said several schools in nearby Polomolok town in South Cotabato and Alabel in Sarangani province also joined the initial robotics classes, which ended on Monday.

Local ICT firm Rapid Signal Electronics, which was earlier tapped by the local government for the robotics program, handled discussions on basic robotics theories while SHEEP-CLP personnel assisted the hands-on training sessions, he said.

On Friday, Pasuelo said they will hold a “mini-olympics” among participating schools as part of the culmination of the initial training program.

He said the mini-olympics will feature a car racing activity using a line follower.

Pasuelo said “a solid black line will be printed against a white tarpaulin as the race track and the race car is attached to a programmable bluetooth module transceiver that will transmit an infrared light to the surface of the tarpaulin.”

“If the light hits a white surface, it will reflect back to the receiver and no action will happen to the car. If the light hits a black line, it will be absorbed by the black color, no reflection will bounce back to the receiver and the car will start to move,” he said.

He said the transmitter-receiver activity may be compared to Newton’s law of motion, which provides that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.

Pasuelo said SHEEP-CLP will turn over the training modules, including the arduino module and mobots, to the General Santos City High School (GSCHS)-Calumpang.

GSCHS-Calumpang, which is under the national science curriculum, will hold basic robotics classes through its ICT department, he said. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)