A group of home-schooled children meets once a week in the Swindon home of Shena Deuchars, who, like the youngsters other parents, has opted out of the formal education system. Ignoring the trampoline in the garden, the children are engrossed in work based around the First Lego League robotics competition. The group is building a glove that, by employing some very sophisticated physics, helps someone with a weak grip to hold objects. Is it working? Only if we remember to plug it in, says Peter, who forgot to do just that at a recent competition. The group is applying for patents in the UK and US. Peter, 14, says: With Lego you dont need to learn welding its surprising how much you learn without being taught.
The childrens education is based around projects that interest them, ranging from drama and art to break dancing and even horse-whispering.
I was the team coach for the first seven years and my DC were both involved, including in a trip to Tokyo. This year, they have moved to someone else's house but the team consists of people who were involved last year.
The website is out of date, but you can find more information at the N Wilts Robotics page.