St Peter's Boys Designing Solutions for Problems

  • April 04, 2019 | Rob Macaulay: Headmaster

Over the past few years we have attempted to share a teaching philosophy with parents that focuses on activities that demonstrate choice of learning, self-management, self-assessment and the promotion of intrinsic motivation.  This pedagogy has been combined with our inquiry based approach and our Flexible Learning Programme to create a curriculum that, in addition to the very important core skill knowledge that our children receive, promotes the development of a love for innovation that goes beyond formal classroom time.


I would like to share the innovative robot that was designed and built by one of our boys, Nirvan Lachman, over the recent long weekend.  I believe that it illustrates the type of thinking and use of resources that we aim to promote through our particular brand of teaching.


Nirvan identified the need to address one of our 5 Gs, “Grounds” through the collection of debris and litter.  He decided that this could be done using robotics, coding and the development of Artificial Intelligence solutions.  Nirvan combined Lego pieces, 3-D printed components and an angle grinder disc to create a prototype scale model of a robot that will not only be able to chop debris into “bite-sized” chunks, but can also be controlled using mobile technology from a remote location. 


Just speaking to Nirvan about his creation, one gets the sense that he is already developing it further with a strong Artificial Intelligence component attached.  We posted a segment of Nirvan’s demonstration of his invention to me on the School Facebook sight and it has enjoyed well over 2000 “Likes” already.  Please go to St Peter’s Boys Prep Facebook page to see the video.


Nirvan’s innovative thinking and practical application of ideas to solve a problem epitomises what we are trying to create in our boys. Most importantly, he has had an absolute ball building his robot and is able to achieve a great sense of satisfaction through his own evaluation of his success.  I congratulate Nirvan on his outstanding innovation and look forward to seeing him playing a leading role in AI development in years to come.