AS THE rise of the robots threatens to snatch jobs from our school leavers, children embodied one thing machine cannot yet mimic: sheer enthusiasm.

Youngsters happily sacrificed a slice of their Easter holiday to visit Science Oxford on Saturday, to learn about robots and create their own game of Operation.

The session saw children aged nine-12 play with a robotic arm and make a foil circuit inside a cardboard surgery 'patient', much like the popular board game.

Summertown resident Tom Scholes said the session, which was part of Science Oxford's Maker Club, was ‘absolutely fantastic'.

The Cutteslowe Primary School governor took along his nine-year-old son Jem Leighton-Scholes, who is in Year 4 at Cutteslowe.

Mr Scholes said: “The tactile nature of what they are doing makes it so much more engaging than just learning out of a book.

“I'd like to see these sessions run in schools - it doesn’t take much, just some some cardboard and foil.

“It’s really great to be able to see that enthusiasm - especially as this is a city full of science; the whole of Oxfordshire is full of science.”

He said engagement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects is particularly important given that schools are increasingly having to prepare children for jobs that do not yet exist.

Mr Scholes added: “For that you can’t teach them, but it’s about giving them the appetite to learn for themselves so when new technology comes along, they can approach it with an open mind.”

His son Jem added: "It’s difficult but very satisfying.

"I think science is fun if you start in the right place at the right level for you, and build up to know more.”

The session was led by Science Oxford’s technology projects officer Noelle Aly, at the organisation's city centre base in New Road.

She said: “It’s an opportunity to try technologies and science the children might not be able to access at school.

“It’s so important for kids to see that this is a subject in which they are welcome.

“It’s also about changing the idea that STEM is not creative: it’s not just a mathematician with numbers alone in a room, but problem-solving that requires creativity.”

Among the class was Isaac Teasdale from Radley.

The 11-year-old chatted enthusiastically to the Oxford Mail and taught our reporter how to control a robotic arm using keys on a computer.

He said: “I come here [to Maker Club] pretty regularly.

“I’m able to do things I’ve never done before.

“Science could be boring to you, but to me it is the thing that makes up our lives.

“Sessions like this teach people how science works in a fun way.

“It’s great for people who don’t like the boring areas of science, to do the cool areas of science.”