CErrobotics - Salta, Argentina

In Salta, Argentina, due to low budget and geographical situation scholars have rarely access to the newest technology. The current curricula is not strong in science and if present, is taught from a purely theoretical perspective, generating ill-prepared students for a higher education in science or engineering. By giving access to students and their teachers to the necessary equipment and support we hope that students get better prepared and motivated to go on with science and technology.

The project goal

The main goals of the CErrobotics project can be summarised as follows:

  1. To reach out for socio-economically disadvantaged highschool students,
  2. Introducing novel technologies and robotics,
  3. Establishing a sustainable community which continues our activities and reach out for the entire (Latin-American) continent.

Our approach

In this program we set up a task force of teachers that are able to repeat our experience. With a hands-on workshop we transfer skills to teachers and students that can communicate in English, this is the “teach the teachers” phase. In these workshops participants will not only learn technical details about programming microcontrollers and robotics but, by means of practical examples, also acquire the necessary expertise to teach with robots and link it with other sciences and applications. This group will become our assistants in the second training course directed to other teachers that do not manage the English language. The assistants coming out of the “teach the teachers” phase will be seeds for a local community around our project. This community will favour from previously accumulated experience by Dwengo, that is already shared online. During the year following the execution of the project, we will organize two dwengo contests with the following objectives:

  1. to foster communication, we organize an online content creation contest;
  2. to motivate our alumni to use the dwengo platforms they received, we organize a participation in robotics events contest. The prize for online content creation is given to the users who upload and document the most original project to the dwengo site. The prize for participation in robotic events is given to groups that achieved a top-three position in a robotic competition.

The success of the project in Argentina stands or falls with the openness of the used materials and support. For the program it is necessary that all building material, course material and computer programs can be adapted to the need of students and teachers. In the past, Dwengo has taken measures to guarantee this:

  • The Dwengo website embeds a forum for open communication between all participants,
  • Source code and project sharing through the site and github,
  • Schematics of the Dwengo platform are made available online,
  • Class material (source code, slides, exercises, tutorials, videos) can be found online,
  • The use of a PIC18F4550 makes the Dwengo board compatible with the free platform Pinguino and thus also programmable in Pinguino IDE. Due to these measures, people can benefit and learn from Dwengo but are not limited to the Dwengo hardware: new extensions, boards and projects can be realized easily based on all the information that has been shared online. Moreover, online sharing allows a continuous evolution of both, hardware and software.

In addition, ready-to-use robot kits will be shared with technical schools in Salta. The schools will keep the robot kits allowing them to teach hands-on robotics to their students and organize their own annual robot games.

Facundo - I want to build a robot that cleans my bedroom

The outcome

During August and September of 2013, in total 86 students, aged between 11 and 18 year, participated in our project. Additionally, 35 high school teachers were trained. All of them got an introduction to electronics, mechanics and computer science. The activities were conducted by Francis and JuanPi.

In order to guarantee continuation of the project the participating teachers were asked to propose a collaborative project. In total 7 collaborative projects where proposed by teachers from Salta and, consequently the CErrobotics workshop materials were donated to these 7 schools. These teachers and schools will form the local Dwengo team and will organise Dwengo approved activities in Argentina!

If you have also a great robotics-for-children idea and want to expand that in Argentina, do not hesitate to contact them:

This group will be assisted by other organisations and companies such as:

If you want to get an update of the latest progress, do not hesitate to take a look at our CErrobotics Google+ page

Sponsors & partners

The CErrobotics project was part of the Google RISE 2013 program not possible without the help of following partners: