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A group of Year 9 Computer Science students were lucky enough to attend an AI workshop at Exeter University during the Easter holidays.

Highlights for the group of Computer Science students included creating a robot which said “fantastic” and “okey dokey” and creating code for robots to go around a maze.

The trip - organised by the Smallpeice Trust - started with icebreaker activities then the groups attended lectures. Then it was time for a game where students had to make a pattern which others had to decipher.


On the second day the students made use of Robocode and made virtual robots and everyone's robots were pitted against each other in a tournament.

Students also learned about Chatbots such as Eliza - the earliest chatbot.


They then took the Turing Test  (a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human) in groups to see if they could tell the difference between a robot and a person.

Day Three saw students create artificial robots from Lego Mindstorm and then code them so they could find their way through a maze.


They also used motors and different types of sensors to get them around corners so they wouldn't crash.


On the fourth and final day students presented their work before returning home.

"I was really impressed with the enthusiasm that the students came back with," said Mr Sheldon, Computer Science teacher.

"Their knowledge of AI programming and products will definitely help them in the coming years in Computer Science."

 


Students'  Highlights:


"Creating our robots in our teams and creating all the code for the robot to go around a built maze and watching them fail.

This is my favourite part because I did all the coding for the robot and it was really fun creating the code. I also made our robot constantly say “fantastic and okey - dokey,” Lewis

"Making the robot on RoboCode as my team won. The fact we won really made it my highlight. Our robot was designed to destroy the other competing robots, which were most wall crawlers. To get over this hurdle, we made a robot that tracked the robots to chase them down and destroy them quickly and efficiently," Kamil

"My highlight was learning about the understanding of what artificial intelligence is and what it is used for in our everyday lives. I also enjoyed working in a team and making new friends. This gave me a taste of what university life might be like and has made me more aware of what options are available for me after secondary school," Emily

"We went to the disco and had a three-course meal. We had a sports and a film night too. I made the code and we had a bedroom to ourselves," Tristyn

"When we created the artificial robot, my team made it through the maze in third place. Also we met new people from other schools," Lewis

"I would definitely recommend this trip for other students. It’s a great way to improve social skills and it was a brilliant experience. It really gave all of us an insight as to what problems face engineers and programmers in today's society," Emily

 

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