Combining problem solving, mathematics, engineering, and a love for Legos is what Auburn’s Robotics Enrichment Class is all about! Each year, 20 middle school students elect to challenge their knowledge of construction and how to use gear ratios to design and build robots using Legos. Students then use computer software to program the robot to complete certain tasks.
In addition to writing computer programs to control the robots, students also calculate angles, circumference, elevation, and distance based on the measurements of the competition board and their unique robot.
This year, Robotics students were tasked with building a robot to pickup and place items in a predefined area, turn on switches, pull down ladders, rescue a man stranded on a snowlift line, and climb on top of a mountain. While all of this may seem easy to achive using a remote controlled robot, these little robots must be preprogrammed to accomplish all tasks in a 3 minute time frame and no remote controls are allowed!
Auburn’s Robotics’ students helped to host the Logan County Regional RCX Robotics Touranment on February 27th. “Hosting any tournament can be a challenge, but with the help of dedicated students, supportive parents and hardworking fellow teachers, this year’s RCX tournament was far easier than our first year”, said Auburn’s Robotics Coach Angela McColpin. The students’ hard work during class paid off as they captured 2nd place and advanced to the state finals competition, to be held at Rupp Arena on April 22nd.
Mrs. McColpin added, “The students put in a very long Friday moving tables and chairs to the gym, helping setup the tournament boards, assisting with the judges’ training, and making sure all the visiting teams had power strips to charge their computers and robots. They returned early Saturday morning to turn on power strips, help open the concession stand, and get ready to compete.”
Auburn has been offering Robotics as a spring enrichment class for the last five years, and has competed with the RCX program for three years. Logan County High School and Chandlers Elementary both have robotics programs and compete in the RCX program, while Lewisburg has started a program this year and plans on competing next year.