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Coventry schools robotics volunteer gets 1st class degree - and he’s still inventing robotics for local schools

Stephen Pithouse

Whitley University of Warwick student Stephen Pithouse has just heard this week that he is to receive a first class degree in engineering from the University and its School of Engineering when he graduates on 19th July.

Stephen, who attended Whitley Academy School, had not considered even going to University until a team of volunteer University of Warwick students, led by Margaret Low a Principal Teaching Fellow in WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group), visited his school to help pupils learn about computer programming for robotics.

However, he is almost too busy to celebrate this as he is about to start his dream job with internationally renowned Industrial Automation company FANUC at their Whitley base…oh, and he also has to finish designing and manufacturing a new robotics interface for use in Coventry and Warwickshire Schools.


Margaret Low said:

“Two University of Warwick Technology Volunteers who visited his school, when Stephen was in Year 9, introducing him to a whole new world of electronics and programming. He was inspired and intrigued and a love of robotics was sparked. 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.”

When Stephen won his place in Warwick he immediately joined Warwick Volunteers so that he could go into Coventry and Warwickshire schools himself to encourage and help other young people to take up degrees and careers in computing and robotics


Stephen says:

 “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.”


Over 2000 University of Warwick students are registered in its volunteer programme which assists in a wide variety of community projects in Coventry, Leamington, Kenilworth and Warwick. They work with: children in schools and after-school clubs, young adults, people with disabilities, and community groups, people in care homes and hospital, and they also undertake voluntary work to help improve the local environment.

21st July 2016

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy,
University of Warwick

Tel UK: 024 76523708 office 07767 655860 mobile
Tel Overseas: +44 (0)24 76523708 office +44 (0)7767 655860 mobile/cell