Posted on: March 27th 2024

LAE Robotics Club: From New Beginnings to Global Aspirations

This year the London Academy of Excellence has a new student-lead club with high ambitions: the LAE Robotics Club. Founded in January 2024 by Rafi Alam Hassan, a year 12 student with a wealth of experience in robotics competitions, the club aims to provide even more opportunities for LAE's dedicated STEM students.

Rafi alam hassanRafi's passion for robotics extends beyond building machines; he's driven to share his knowledge and inspire others. His experience provides a significant advantage to the club which, though young, already boasts 20 enthusiastic members with plans to double membership next year, with places for 20 students from each year group.

Club members are already actively engaged in learning valuable skills like 3D modelling, the principles of physics and mechanics, and introductory coding as well as marketing and fundraising. The club have already secured two robotics kits which will shortly arrive and they will be creating their very own robot. They plan on a thrilling rush build next term "over four weeks we will build a robot that would usually take four months just to build, and two months to code."

Robotics 2Some members recently went on a weekend trip to watch the South-East Qualifier of this year's First Tech Challenge, a prestigious robotics competition, where students from partner schools competed.  As a newly formed club, LAE Robotics were not in time to enter the competition this year but were able to support and cheer-lead their peers. 

Next year, we hope to be in a position to take part in the competition.  The FIRST Tech Challenge presents a unique challenge each year, requiring teams to design and build a robot capable of completing a new set of tasks. The challenge will push the boundaries of members' skills and leverage the club leader's impressive experience of competitive robotics.

"Everyone but me is a rookie," acknowledges Rafi, emphasising the importance of fostering a love of learning and personal motivation within the club. He also highlights the importance of "gracious professionalism," a core concept of the FIRST Tech Challenge that promotes respect and sportsmanship in competition – values that resonate with LAE's student body.

The LAE Robotics Club's success depends on more than just dedication and ingenuity, securing sufficient funding is a major hurdle. Building robots is an expensive endeavour, and the prospect of travelling to international competitions also adds to the cost so fundraising efforts are already underway, alongside the search for potential sponsors to support LAE Robotics.

This is a club to watch. "Our goals are to raise enough money for the club to run comfortably next year, participate in two to three international events, and win awards in all of our events."  With passionate leadership, enthusiastic students, and a clear vision for the future, the LAE Robotics Club is certainly poised to make a name for itself.