An American pop star’s donation kickstarts a UK programme for kids interested in robots, which leads a machine tool maker to allow area youth to make parts with its equipment.
Yamazaki Mazak opened its doors to local young people at its UK operations as part of The Prince’s Trust charity’s Get Started with Robots programme
Mazak invited the group to its European headquarters as part of a week-long course organised by the youth charity and Roaming Robots, the company behind TV show Robot Wars.
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The Get Started with Robots course was funded as a pilot project using a donation of £500,000 (€609,000) from Black Eyed Peas singer and judge on BBC show The Voice, Will.i.am, to The Prince’s Trust in 2012. The course aims to give young people from the Midlands area the chance to design their own robot whilst learning valuable STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), Mazak said.
Visitors even used a Mazak Quick Turn Nexus 250-II MY machine tool to manufacture parts to be used on their own robot.
Neil Parker, the programme manager at The Prince’s Trust, said: “We work with many young people who come from a wide range of backgrounds and personal circumstances. Through the Get Started programme we’re aiming to help those with an interest in a career in STEM subjects but may not have had access to the necessary qualifications.
“I’d like to extend my thanks on behalf of The Prince’s Trust to all at Yamazaki Mazak for opening their doors to the group and taking the time to give them an insight into life inside a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.”
Marcus Burton, Mazak’s European group managing director, said: “It was a real pleasure to host the Get Started with Robots programme at our Worcester facility. The Prince’s Trust provides young people with an invaluable link to the working world and opens doors to a better future which may have previously remained closed. I hope their experiences at Mazak will act as a stimulus to spur them on to develop their interest in STEM and open up new opportunities.”