Transformers ride in to help children build robots at Alder Hey Children's hospital
Transformers Optimus Prime drove in to help school children build robots at a special event for the IFB2016 fringe festival The Edge, running alongside the main festival from June 13 to July 1.
The spectacular truck - who is operated by Hasbro - and his friend Bumblebee were in town to visit the school children from the Liverpool City Region who were attending The Edge IFB2016 Robot Challenge at the hospital’s Innovation Hub on Wednesday, June 15.
Forty students aged 13 and above formed 10 teams using organisers MerseySTEM’s Protobot System from Vex Robotics to build the machines and pit them against each other in a series of matches. The event was sponsored by ChargePoint Technology, and attended by Managing Director Chris Eccles and Assistant Mayor of Liverpool Nick Small.
The junior engineers were taught new skills in leadership and problem solving while learning design, science and engineering principles to make fierce and competition ready robots.
Chris Eccles said: “The day has been incredible. I never thought I would come face to face with Optimus Prime.
“He was one of the cartoon characters from my childhood and to have this awesome truck in Liverpool for this event is very fitting.
“It is vital to teach children about the importance of engineering, design and science because those skills form the most crucial industries in the world and offer many employment opportunities.
“The robot challenge was a huge amount of fun but I hope and believe that it gave the children the inspiration to embark on a career in science, technology or engineering.”
Cllr Nick Small, who is Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills said:
“This is a really good way to get young people to see how important – and fun – STEM subjects can be and is a great way to showcase skills that are needed in the world of work. Well done to everyone involved.”
MerseySTEM’s Managing Director Michelle Dow said: “The robot days give us the opportunity to promote teamwork and provide careers advice to students using real role-models from our city – and as Optimus proves, robots are cool!”
IFB2016 Festival Director Kate Willard said: “These young people are our future workforce so it’s important that we enthuse them all about these critical subjects - and what cooler way to do this than building robots.
“To bring such a huge movie star in Optimus Prime to Liverpool during the festival is really wonderful and it shows that IFB2016 and The Edge are not just focussing on business but on how business is present in all aspects of life, whether that be in science or comic books.
“That is a really important message to young people and I want to congratulate MerseySTEM, ChargePoint Technology, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the Liverpool Enterprise Partnership for putting on such an excellent event.”