A COVENTRY schoolboy who went on to study engineering at the University of Warwick is giving something back – by inventing robotics for local schools.
Stephen Pithouse, graduated with a first class degree last month, but nearly missed his graduation ceremony because he was too busy designing and manufacturing a new robotics interface for use in Coventry and Warwickshire Schools.
The former Whitley Academy School pupil had not considered even going to university until a team of volunteers from Warwick Volunteers visited the school to encourage youngsters to learn about computer programming for robotics.
Inspired by what he heard, Stephen applied to the university and on receiving his place, immediately joined Warwick Volunteers to he could help other Coventry school children take up degrees and careers in computing and robotics.
Stephen said: “Volunteering gave me great pride and sense of achievement, knowing that we were introducing children to a new topic, and could indeed ignite that spark inside them, not only giving them an interest, but inspiring them to aim high and break from what may be considered the norm.”
He has now started his dream job with internationally renowned Industrial Automation company FANUC at its Whitley base.
Margaret Low, a principal teaching fellow at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), was among the group which visited Stephen when he was a Year 9 pupil at Whitey Academy.
She said this introduction to the world of electronics and programming ‘sparked’ Stephen’s love of robotics.
Mrs Low added: “He started to design and build his own robots and has now won awards and competitions and he has now inspired many other young people to study robotics.
“He will even be representing Warwick now at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Scratch conference on Scratch computing code where he will be demonstrating a new Robotics circuit board that he has designed to help the teaching of robotics and coding in schools.”
Over 2,000 University of Warwick students are registered in the Warwick Volunteer programme, which sees students assisting children in schools and after-school clubs, people with disabilities, community groups, and people in care homes and hospitals across Coventry, Leamington, Kenilworth and Warwick.