- October 07, 2020
Online initiative provided entertaining educational platform for school students to explore and develop their computer programming skills.
London, UK - Oct. 1, 2020 – RS Components (RS), a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE: ECM), a global omni-channel solutions partner for industrial customers and suppliers, has announced the winners of its online STEM coding challenge run in collaboration with educational robotics systems provider VEX Robotics.
The challenge was split into three age categories: primary school students, lower secondary school students, and upper secondary school students. The challenge involved two coding tasks to navigate a virtual robot to collect and deliver ingredients to production machinery in a virtual crisp factory. Coding involved using the online VEXcode VR portal with either a Scratch block-based programming environment or a Python text editor.
In assessing the students’ completion of the tasks, the judges reviewed several key aspects of the program. From an operational perspective, the evaluation criteria looked at whether the program successfully completed the task, was it consistent in use, and did it complete the task every time. Looking at the code, the judges examined the code structure, the commands used, and the variety of programming constructs employed by each student. In particular, the judges looked for well-structured and commented code that made it easy for a reader to comprehend what the code was doing. The students’ use of program flow commands, use of loops, functions, arrays, and variables was also evaluated. Credit was also given to entrants using only Python coding for a task.
Primary school category – (aged 8 to 11): Bailey Richardson
Lower secondary school category – (aged 11 to 14): Arnav Gupta
Upper secondary school category – (aged 14 to 16): Katie Wright
Chris Calver, UK education manager at VEX Robotics, commented, “This challenge elicited some excellent coding from the winning students, demonstrating clever use of the key programming constructs and at times surpassing the skills levels we would have expected.”
Laura Giddings, STEM education manager at RS, added, “Experiencing learning hands-on is key in STEM subjects. Bailey, Arnav and Katie all grabbed the opportunity to test out their coding skills in this fun VEX Robotics challenge, and their success will hopefully enthuse them to develop their skills further, and encourage other youngsters to do the same.”
Each winner will receive a VEX Robotics remote-controlled vehicle kit that, when assembled, is controlled by the VEX Pilot application. The runner-up in each category will receive a VEX Robotics Gear Racer kit that demonstrates the result that different gear ratios have on speed and acceleration.
About RS Components
RS Components is a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, a global omni-channel solutions partner for industrial customers and suppliers who are involved in designing, building or maintaining industrial equipment and facilities. We aim to offer our customers unrivalled choice of product technologies, solve problems with innovative solutions and deliver a world-class customer experience, making it easy to do business with us.
We stock more than 500,000 industrial and electronic products, sourced from over 2,500 leading suppliers. We solve problems and provide a wide range of value-added solutions to over one million customers. With operations in 32 countries, we trade through multiple channels and ship over 50,000 parcels a day.
Electrocomponents plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the last financial year ended 31 March 2020 reported revenue of £1.95 billion. Electrocomponents plc has six operating brands; RS Components, Allied Electronics & Automation, RS PRO, OKdo, DesignSpark and IESA.
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