Last month, the Fire Busters team, made up of 6th-graders Brady Huseman (Captain), Brandon Williams, Weston Davis and 5th-grader RW Aldridge headed to state competition just south of Houston in Deer Park.
Their bot was designed to assist and safeguard first responders by alerting them to the origin of a heat source in a fire and setting off an alarm to its location. The team had to build the robot, program it, journal their research and testing, and sell, via presentation, the market viability of their product to a group of judges.
The judges were so impressed with the team's log book they requested photocopies to be sent to the Texas Computer Education Agency’s robotics office, the entity that sponsors these competitions, to be used to train robotics competition judges. Now that's a compliment!
Due to the success of and interest in this robotics program, its influence is now beginning to be felt on other campuses in the district. Principal Kelly Wilkerson of the Junior High has decided to add LEGO robotics as a science elective in the course catalog for the next school year.
With a current focus on STEM (science/technology/engineering/math) in many districts and the widespread rise of robotics in K-12 education, this move is not only an academically sound choice, but will likely be a popular one with many students.