Where are they now? Matt Arnold

This week we’ll be catching up with Matt, a Computer Science teacher at Barton Peveril College. Matt competed in SR2014 as a part of team BPV from Barton Peveril College. He went on to study Computer Science at Cambridge University before returning to Barton Peveril as a teacher.

How did you first get involved with Student Robotics?

I signed up for my sixth form college’s robotics club. I worked more on the programming of the robot and remember completely re-writing the code twice during the competition itself!

What are you doing now?

After getting my Computer Science degree, I am now teaching and am the subject leader for Computer Science A-level at the same sixth form college that I did the competition with - so I’ve come full circle! The college still competes every year.

How did Student Robotics help you get to where you are today / What did you gain from taking part in SR?

As a teenager I was very reluctant to sign up for things and didn’t take many opportunities. Doing SR really showed teenage me that it was worth it, even though it might be a bit scary at first. I made lots of friends and gained many new skills (it was my first introduction to Python). As a result, at university, I wasn’t afraid to get involved in anything! It was also very useful for talking about at interviews for programming jobs.

What was your favourite part about competing in Student Robotics?

It really made me think about the impacts of slightly buggy code. Because the robot needs to function on its own for multiple minutes, a slight error in the code for handling the wheel motors would have a big impact halfway through the round (usually resulting in the robot trying to drive through the wall!)

What advice would you give to yourself aged 16-18 knowing what you know now?

Aside from investing all my savings into Bitcoin, I would tell myself to get stuck into more things like SR as they’re great fun and definitely worth the uncertainty at the start!

Student Robotics is 100% free to enter and provides exciting real world engineering challenges for students aged 16-19. If you’re interested in taking part you can find out more on our Compete page. If your organisation is interested in sponsoring Student Robotics you can find all the information on our Sponsor page or reach out direct to fundraising@studentrobotics.org