A Kick Off to STEM Education: The Robotics & Automation Camp

15 July 2019

Corporate Communication and Alumni Relations Center (CCARC)

What is the Robotics and Automation System? Some say it is an invention that is created to steal human’s jobs. Ironically, they are merely created to support human jobs and enhance the production quality while reducing the production costs.

In this age of technological advancements, one of Thailand’s 4.0 industry goals is to increase production efficiency. At the same time, the cabinets are also encouraging robotics and automation industry development. To keep up with these changes, the STEM Education for secondary school students was introduced. The STEM Education focuses on the development of skills, creative thinking, and analytical thinking, enabling them to better transition from secondary level to university. By using the STEM education methods, the Faculty of Engineering, Chiang Mai University, aims to make robotics and automation accessible to high school students. The faculty also collaborates with schools in designing goals, processes, evaluation methods as well as analyzing the costs required while asking the school to keep a running data on this new methodology of teaching for the faculty’s research purposes.

Presently, the project regarding robot technology and automation has collaborations from both within and outside the country. To start, there were signed collaboration between the Thai-German Institute, Electrical and Electronics Institute, and the Institute of Field Robotics (FIBO) with the King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, the Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, King Mongkut's University of Technology, North Bangkok, Mahidol University, Khonkaen University, and Chiang Mai University. In addition, the Office of Industrial Economics collaborates with the public and private sectors to propel the robotic industry forward. Furthermore, Aichi High School of Technology and Engineering (Aichi T & E), Japan, has invited Chiang Mai University Demonstration School and Prince Royal’s College to be partners in organizing activities as well as activities with international schools from the United States.

In March 2019, the first activity hosted was The Robotics & Automation Summer Camp 2019 by the Faculty of Engineering, CMU, together with Prince Royal's College and Aichi T&E. The summer camp is a workshop on robotics and automation systems for secondary school students that took place on the 26 - 31 March 2019 at Aichi High School of Technology and Engineering, Japan.

At the end of May, the Faculty of Engineering and the Prince Royal's College School jointly hosted a short-term training camp on Robotics & Automation System for teachers and students from secondary schools in the northern region by dividing the training into 2 sessions. The first session was held from May 31 - June 1, 2019 and the second session was held from June 7 - 8, 2019 at the Prince Royal's College School. The purpose of this camp is to prepare the students and teachers for the First Tech Challenge, which will be taking place in late October. After the camp, the students should be able to understand the automation system, know the types of robots, its functional characteristics, features, working principles, design control, programming, control of motor rotation, sensor detection, and expansion. The topics will be covered by faculty members from the Faculty of Engineering, Chiang Mai University, namely Associate Professor Dr. Phrut Sakulchangsatjatai, Associate Professor Dr. Theeraphong Wongratanaphaisan, Assistant Professor Dr. Wetchayan Rangsri, Assistant Professor Dr. Kan Patanukhom, Assistant Professor Dr. Chaiy Rungsiyakull, along with teachers from the Prince Royal's College School and the staff and graduate students of the Faculty of Engineering, CMU, as an assistant team.

FIRST? Tech Challenge is more than just a competition, it is a global robot showdown. Students need to design, build, program, and control robots to be able to solve problems on the racetrack. The purpose of FIRST? Tech Challenge is to be a student-centered program that focuses on providing a unique experience for students by creating a learning environment through robot building. This is an opportunity for students grade 1 through 6 to exhibit their potential in the field and the opportunity for robotic technology to become globalized. Students are encouraged to think outside the box while also being able to communicate clearly with others. This is Thailand’s first competition in such field. CMU’s Faculty of Engineering will co-host with the Prince Royal's College. Together, they will prepare a team to compete in the upcoming competition.

Furthermore, the Texas torque 1477 robotics team from College Park High School, Texas, is organizing a student exchange program with Prince Royal’s College School, the scheduled date for exchange was July 12, 2019.

The world of technology is inevitably changing rapidly, by introducing the STEM education into secondary schools, the students will have a solid bridge between secondary school to university transition. They will, as well, learn how to adapt and thrive in this fast-paced world of technological advancement.