Saturday, January 18, 2014

This Saturday in Killer Robot Science!

Blogger's Note: As any regular reader of The Digital Notebook knows, I am pretty wild for the phrase "killer robot," and so when this information came over the transom, I couldn't resist. Anyway, there is the information from the Pottstown School District's Robotic Information Officer, or RIO, John Armato.

Members of the Pottstown High School newly formed robotics team will be ready to defend the human race should robots attempt to take control of the world.

Recently, two teams of students competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) held at Owen J. Roberts High School. 

FIRST Tech Challenge is a non-profit organization whose mission is “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.” 

The “Challenge” requires students to utilize STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) and 21st Century skills to design, build, program, test, and ultimately compete with robots.

Team Newmatics with team members Rob Boyle, Rashad Cole, Broc Ferguson, Dan Garcia, and
Delanie Hain placed 3rd in the qualifying rounds and participated in the semi-final competition. 

Also participating in the semi-finals as part of an “alliance team” were the Automatons led by Dan O’Brien, Jason Levengood, Kenil Patel, MaSofia Sosa, and Heather Swanson.

The day was filled with excitement and adventure. 

There were software and hardware glitches to be overcome and fierce competition from the opposing teams. 

 Mr. Decker one of the team sponsors said, “Our team is newly formed and our students are gaining valuable experience that will help them compete at a higher level in future competitions. The problem-solving experiences they have had are invaluable to them.”

“The atmosphere at this challenge is electrifying. Seeing our students working cooperatively to problem-solve the glitches they encountered can only help improve their skills. Having activities that place such a high emphasis on the value of practical use of academic knowledge is exciting and rewarding to watch,” stated science teacher and team sponsor Laura Wise.

Decker noted that this year’s team received its start from a 21st Century grant and the support of the Pottstown School District.

Decker said, “Our team has already started preparations for our next competition held in York Pennsylvania later this month and look forward to the challenge.”

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