GenSan pilots robotics program in high school

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 20 Sept) – The city government has launched a pilot program for the integration of robotics modules in the information and communication technology (ICT) education curriculum of local secondary or high schools.

Percival Pasuelo, executive assistant for information technology of the city mayor’s office, said they have adopted the General Santos City National High School (GSNHS) in Barangay Calumpang here as pilot school for the inclusion of basic robotics training as part of the regular ICT programs of local high schools.

He said such move was part of the local government’s ongoing efforts to increase awareness and adoption of the robotics technology by local schools and students.

The robotics program was launched by the city government last month under 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.

As part of the program, Pasuelo said they initially delivered 10 units of Arduino boards that were bundled with mobile robots or “mobots.”

Arduino is an open source single-board microcontroller designed to make the process of using electronics in multidisciplinary projects more accessible and is used in creating interactive objects like robots.

He said the pilot robotics training will be handled by the school’s ICT coordinator and will be assisted by teams from the SHEEP-CLP and its technology partner RapidSignal Electronics (RSE).

The robotics trainings will initially cover three sections from GSNHS’ fourth year star class, two sections under its science curriculum and one to two classes under its special program for the arts, he said.

“They will be prioritized for the wireless technology, microcontrollers and basic robotics training,” Pasuelo said.

He said the SHEEP-CLP and RSE teams will assist the student-trainees in conceptualizing projects and create actual and practical applications sourced from the programmable integrated circuitry of the Arduino boards.

Pasuelo said the results of the pilot project will be replicated later on to other public and private schools in the city.

The SHEEP-CLP launched last month an initial training-workshop on basic robotics that was attended by ICT teachers and students of private and public secondary schools in this city as well as parts of Sarangani and South Cotabato provinces.

It also held earlier this month the 1st Gensan Robotics Mini-Olympics featuring outputs made by the training-workshops participants. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)