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Students learn more than just robotics at RoboCon
The Falcon Creek Middle School gym was filled with cheers and excitement during the third annual Cherry Creek Schools’ RoboCon on March 11. During the all-day event, 26 schools were represented with 115 teams competing.
Students have been preparing for this districtwide competition since last spring. In the morning, teams used their robots to shoot discs underneath a bar that was one inch off the ground. This was called the VEX robotics and 3rd to 8th graders participated.
“We were really anxious before the competition started,” Lucy Acosta, 5th grader from Cherry Hills Elementary said. “This competition was called slapshot and our robot that we created had to release discs and hit them underneath the bar to get points.”
The students prepare all year for this competition. CCSD students learn about robotics in STEM classes and many participate in extracurricular robotic clubs. RoboCon was created to foster interest and inspire students to pursue robotics coursework. For many of the competitors, this was their first time competing at RoboCon.
“It was really fun, but kind of stressful,” Cameron Sheikh, 5th grader from Cherry Hills Elementary added. “I learned that our design was a really good one for our robot.”
“I learned that teamwork is very helpful and working as a team is a lot faster and easier,” Jensen Connor, 5th grader from Cherry Hills Elementary explained. “We strategized sometimes to get the most discs under the bar. It was a lot of fun and I hope to do it next year.”
After lunch students had the Wonder League and LEGO competition. The Wonder League consists of a series of mazes that students had to navigate their robots through and the LEGO competition students had to lift up a large brick and set it on a shelf.
“The cool thing here is that it is less about robotics and it is more about getting kids excited about collaboration, teamwork, problem solving, and trying something that they have never done before and they all come together on a day like this to interact with kids from all over the district,” Altitude Elementary STEAM Teacher Ryan Remien said.
Each team practices weekly after school to perfect their robots and they start creating their robots many months before RoboCon. Each robot is unique and different from those created by other teams.
“It is really neat to see their learning take effect,” Remien added. “It goes beyond robotics. For example, in the LEGO challenge, the students are thinking about how you make a system so someone who can’t lift a heavy object, could.”
Each winner received a $330 check to purchase more materials or support new teams to participate. Organizers hope to grow RoboCon next year and get every school involved.
“For us it is less about what team is successful from one year to the next, its more about how we are supporting each other and sharing ideas,” Remien said. “While every robot is unique, you will notice that some patterns in how some are created are the same and that is from coaches and players talking to each other from different schools.”
“It was so cool to have our name be recognized so many times and get to represent our school!” Kylie Green, 5th grader from Cherry Hills Elementary stated. “It is really fun to interact with new people and have the opportunity to do something so fun and do your best.”
Posted on 3/15/2023.
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