Tag Archives: STEM

St. Peter’s student, Àlex Gonzalez; youngest student to participate in the Humanoid Robots National Competition (CEABOT 2016)


The complete Humanoid Lab team, from CSIC-UPC. The junior students Àlex Gonzàlez and Martí Zaera, together with the senior ones, Laia Freixas and Alejandro Suárez.
The complete Humanoid Lab team, from CSIC-UPC. The junior students Àlex Gonzàlez and Martí Zaera, together with the senior ones, Laia Freixas and Alejandro Suárez.

At the beginning of this month, Alex, together with a student from 1st Bachillerato from another school, participated in the CEABOT 2016 as members of the junior team trained by the “Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial” (IRI), a mixed centre CSIC-UPC.

They were one of the youngest teams ever presented to this competition. Being only in 3rd of ESO, Àlex had the opportunity to show his knowledge and skills in robotics to postgraduate students from Spanish universities. The junior team from IRI, coordinated by the PHd student from UPC, Gerard Canal, demonstrated that robotics can be learned and introduced at early ages to foster scientific aspirations.

Alex came back from the competition proud of their work and outcomes: “Since the first day I went to work with them I knew it was going to be a hard experience. We had to make a humanoid robot with the ability to walk, climb stairs, read QR codes and fight. It was tough and stressful and we had to face a lot of difficulties. We worked intensely to try and present the robot the best way possible. But the hard work was worth it, the important thing wasn’t the placement, it was the experience and all the learning behind it.”

The senior team from the Humanoid Lab, trained at IRI, who attended the contest won this prestigious national competition.

Orlando Ward-Santos, our guest teacher from MIT, introduces robotics through Arduino

Last Friday, as a conclusion to our Robotics Programme in collaboration with MIT, we had a final competition using an obstacle course. Students coded their Arduino robots to accomplish diverse maneuvers around the circuit. They used ultrasonic sensors to avoid obstacles and the “line-follower” sensor to command the robot to follow a given path.

During the last three weeks, we have seen our students in 2nd and 3rd of ESO, Pre-U 1 and 2 very busy learning how to code with Arduino and how to control a robot. But, above all, we have seen them passionate about robotics. This was, in fact, the goal of this Robotics Programme.

When our STEM faculty contacted Mr. Orlando Ward-Santos, as part of the MISTI programme sponsored by Fundació La Pedrera, they realised it was exactly what we were looking for. It had the spirit of the collaborative, innovative and scientific projects we love at St. Peter’s.

Mr. Ward-Santos explained the programme to us:



Impact on 2015-16. We are, therefore we change

Now that we are all settled in, we would like to take a quick glance to what is going to happen throughout the school year.
As you could see in our new Yearbook presented at the Welcome Meetings, both innovative and established projects show once again that Education at St. Peter’s is ongoing.

Change is, in fact, an essence of what we are. Constant reflection and revision is part of our every day practice and ensure that excellence, wellbeing and enthusiasm form part of our Educational Project.
How are we going to embrace all these changes this school year? To clarify it a little, we have designed the new Educational Axis.

St Peter's Educational AxisPersonal Development
One of the most ambitious projects we decided to focus on is Personal Development. Being yourself, respecting others and knowing who you are is the first step to learning, teaching, living happily and being capable of facing any challenge in the future. So, we are making some changes:

  1. Focus on the person rather than the pupil. Changes in the way we assess students are being introduced to make this a reality.
  2. New programmes to give an holistic approach to the Personal Development:
  • TEI: Tutoring amongst Peers (Tutoría entre Iguales). This innovative project designed by our Support Centre aims to build a sense of community amongst our students at the same time that it encourages them to be responsible and help each other. It has been proved that this method is one of the best ways to face problems like bullying or exclusion.
  • Digital Knowledge: Programme designed to help the students acquire mature skills when using social media and technologies. Lessons, workshops and conferences have been scheduled for Classes 6 to 2nd ESO.
  • Physical Education: This is essential to personal development, from the very early ages to the oldest ones. In Foundation Stage, for example, we will introduce osteopathy as a way to listen to children’s bodies and prevent physical imbalance.
  • Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) and Coaching.

As you all know, we work hard to give the students communication skills. Oral and written abilities in the five languages we teach are of the utmost importance, but also Media Literacy and Cultural Management are included in this area.
This year we are holding an important event in April: The MUN Barcelona (Model United Nations will be holding a special edition here at our school and in our city, so it’s going to be an exciting experience for everyone). We look forward to welcoming students from all around the world!
Apart from that, communication will be part of our every day work in the Project Based Learning introduced in Primary, and also in Foundation Stage through Early Literacy or in the new Curious Kids project.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)
New projects and methods are starting to be a reality in this area, such as the M-Schools (ICT & Technology involved), Thinking Skills, Science Research, practical approaches to Maths, and many more. Some of them are being included in PBL in Primary whilst in Foundation Curious Kids will aim to encourage curiosity and exploration as a way of learning.

SCOPE (Sociology, Culture, Organisation, Politics and Economy)
A new approach to History, Economy and Business aims to encourage awareness of the world we live in and to equip the students with the skills they need to face any challenge in their future and become open-minded individuals in a continuously evolving world. Innovations such a placement (work experience) in a company will be exciting experiences for students in Secondary.
Again, in Primary, these areas will be included in PBL and students will be investigating to learn by themselves about the world, the others and them.

University Research Programme
We are proud of all the projects that are taking place at school. They all have been designed in order to offer our students the Education they deserve. We keep reflecting upon methodologies, approaches and way of teaching, and because of that, finally, last year we started our University Research Programme to build a bridge between university and school and share expertise to improve every day.

Introducing new teachers
To conclude this article, we would like to welcome all new teachers who are joining us. We are sure it is going to be a great school year!
We are well into the swing of things here at St. Peter’s. These first two weeks have given us a chance to get to know each other, reencounter old friends, build new relationships, set expectations for learning, and reinforce the school day-to-day life.