Learning Robotics

Aug. 06, 2014 @ 10:27 AM

Pilot’s robotics team is getting an early jump on sharpening their science and math skills before school starts thanks to the four-day camp hosted by the non-profit organization, CyberKids Robotics, which specializes in developing robotics competition teams for schools throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia.

This year’s competition theme is World Class Education.  Pilot, along with other elementary and middle school robotics teams from across the district, will research how technology and robotics can help improve education all over the world by learning how to build, program and maneuver a small, handbuilt robot through a series of challenges. Details surrounding the competition will not be announced to the teams until August 26.

“The camp is funded by grant monies that were awarded for district-wide programs to support science, technology, engineering and math opportunities for students,” explained Rob Ware, a fourth-grade teacher at Pilot who is overseeing the camp, along with the help of media coordinator Brene Duggins. “Eight students, boys and girls were selected — four fourth-graders and four fifth-graders — to form a robotics team that will compete in a district wide competition later in the year.”

During the camp, CyberKids Robotics provides all software, robotics equipment and instructors for the program. According to Ware, the robot built by the team on the first day of camp will be the one used throughout the competition.

“Once school starts, the team will meet twice a month after school to work on the challenge,” said Duggins who will help students conduct their research. “From coding to programming, critical thinking skills to hands on applications, our students will be learning how to collaborate as a team and come together to find solutions for real-world problems.”

Ware and Duggins both agree the most exciting part of helping with the camp and the team comes from watching students light up with a vast array of ideas as they begin to brainstorm about ways to make their robot work better and more efficiently.

“These kids pick up on the technology and programming side of things so fast,” Ware said. “But the best part is, they pool their knowledge, come together and teach each other along the way. It’s really inspiring.”

Do you have an interesting story about an upcoming school program or student? Email your ideas to lward@gmail.com.