Stu­dents ex­cel in cy­ber, ro­bot­ics com­pe­ti­tions

Maryland Independent - - Front Page -

The Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land (CSM) Ro­bot­ics pro­gram hosted the 2017 LEGO Ro­bot­ics Cham­pi­onship, ju­nior di­vi­sion, April 8 at the col­lege’s La Plata Cam­pus, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease. This year’s chal­lenge theme was “Trash Trek.” Teams were asked to use LEGO Mind­storm/EV3 ro­bot­ics sys­tems to build ro­bots that could com­plete a laun­dry list of trash-re­lated tasks, like bump­ing into a LEGO com­poster and turn­ing it on and using the ro­bot to ini­ti­ate a re­cy­cling process. The teams earned points for each task suc­cess­fully com­pleted by their ro­bot, with up to ap­prox­i­mately 1,000 points pos­si­ble.

“I think it gets the kids to learn how to han­dle chal­lenges and learn a step-by-step process,” said Ann Stine, coach for the GLS Lions Gold team from Grace Lutheran School. “Also, they learn how to work to­gether.”

Par­ent helper Anita Scott of Hol­ly­wood was among the crowd of anx­ious on­look­ers as her daugh­ter Gabbi, 9, and her team, the Trashtalk­ers of The King’s Chris­tian Academy, com­peted in one of the early heats. “I think it’s been great,” Scott said. “It’s taught her team-build­ing. And as a mother of a daugh­ter, I like that she’s get­ting in­volved in a STEM pro­gram.”

Patti Ed­wards, a teacher from Our Lady Star of the Sea, worked with the team from her school, the Robo­hawks, as they pre­pared for their next match. Ed­wards noted that events like the LEGO cham­pi­onship al­low the stu­dents with tech­ni­cal and engi­neer­ing skills to ap­ply their strengths and shine out­side of the class­room. “These are our prob­lem-solvers for the fu­ture,” Ed­wards said.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Mem­bers of the Brick Girls from Barstow El­e­men­tary School put their ro­bot through its paces as the ref­eree looks on dur­ing one of the later heats in the el­e­men­tary com­pe­ti­tion at the 2017 LEGO Ro­bot­ics Cham­pi­onship, ju­nior di­vi­sion. The event was held April 8 at CSM’s La Plata Cam­pus. The Brick Girls went on to win one of the com­pe­ti­tions’ top awards, tak­ing first place for Ro­bot Per­for­mance.

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