BJSS sees robotics as an appealing learning platform for young people. Through a partnership with the London School of Mathematics and Programming, we fund Robotics scholarships for 13 to 17 year old schoolchildren.
We also sponsored and provided pro bono support to the 2019 Robotics Triathlon – an open platform contest that any child aged between 7 and 17 was able to compete in. Uniquely, the Triathlon placed no constraint on the types of controllers, construction sets or languages that could be used, thereby encouraging deep learning and creativity. At the end of the day, BJSS awarded a variety of awards for nine participants.
Robotics is an exciting subject which lies beyond the current school curriculum. This year we awarded three schoolchildren a BJSS scholarship at the London School of Mathematics and Programming, and we’ve caught up with them on how they’re doing.
“We are really excited by the opportunities that BJSS is providing for children to study programming and robotics. Any child can now take part, at no cost, in our summer Robotics Triathlon. The new BJSS Robotics scholarships are a game changer for children wishing to study this important subject. Educational robots are expensive and up to now classes in this vital subject might have been beyond the reach of some families but BJSS’ generous support has made classes available for children who might otherwise not have the opportunity to study a subject so key to the future of humankind.”
Director and Founder of The London School of Mathematics and Programming
From economically disadvantaged backgrounds, here is some of the experiences BJSS has provided through the London School of Programming and Mathematics:
Rebekah Edwin, aged 17
Studied Python through a BJSS Scholarship
“The programming course was very enjoyable. The teachers were very friendly and worked to my pace. The course was very useful, and I have been able to use the skills learnt from the course in various parts of my education. An example of this would be in my physics pre-U. I was one of the few students in my class to successfully programme an accurate model for the trajectory for a ball being launched at some speed. I am also currently using things I learnt from the course in the National Cipher Challenge. All of this was only made possible with the scholarship, so I am incredibly grateful to BJSS for it.”
Sakeeza Naveed, aged 16
Studied Python through a BJSS Scholarship
Although Sakeeza was studying Computer Science for A level, her teacher contacted the London School of Mathematics and Programming and told them her school was unable to offer classes in Python. BJSS were able to offer Sakeeza a scholarship after hearing this.
Anastasia commented, “Sakeeza studied hard and was a delight to have with us. Against a difficult backdrop I still feel sure that Sakeeza truly benefited from the course.”
Connie Amer, aged 12
Studied Python last year and now continues to study Python through a BJSS Scholarship
In December 2020, Connie messaged to say:
“I really enjoyed the Blender 3D course because it was something to look forward to every weekend and I learned so much from it. I can use some Blender for my school homework projects. I really wanted to know how to use Blender before, because I had already taught myself some Python. It was so much better learning properly with a tutor to show me where to begin with Blender because it’s quite a powerful software tool. I’m going to try and keep studying it and maybe make some simple games by myself. I will miss the group of friends that I made online and I hope we can get in touch again to share our projects.
My computer science teacher at school said that he really thinks I should study Computer Science next year for GCSE’s, because he was really impressed when I told him I was doing so well at home with Blender and I’m the only girl in my class who knows how to code already, in Year 8. My Python definitely improved and my maths is getting better too. I’m really happy about that. Thank you to everyone who helped me.”
We have now offered Connie a full scholarship for the year to continue her programming course. Her mother commented:
“Thank you for the wonderful news! It’s brought great happiness into our home. Connie’s very excited to be able to continue and is grateful to have something to look forward to as we enter National lockdown again.
To be able to keep learning and to stay connected with others is so precious right now. Thank you for providing this opportunity.
Thank you so much – the Saturday online programming group has been such a lifeline – it enabled Connie to have some normality, form a group of friends and something to work towards each week. Her progress has been great, not only with learning Blender, but with applying maths concepts too. Connie’s so very grateful to BJSS for the opportunity to have participated, as without the bursary it would not have been possible. They do not yet learn programming at her school but she shows great talent and enthusiasm for the subject. She is entirely self-taught and is determined to carry on learning and will definitely be choosing Computer Science as one of her options for GCSE next year. She is the only girl in her class so far who has shown an interest in this subject, and she’s aiming for a career in software engineering one day.
I think it’s really important as a parent that I do my best to support her all the way in this – I have no maths or computer science qualifications or experience myself, but I’ll continue to help her whether it be by finding free resources that she can access online, any scholarship she can apply for or by seeking support from local community groups in the future.”
To find out more about BJSS in the Community, click here.