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Provost Elementary’s sixth-graders proved they were piloting their learning as they recently geared up for the District Robotics Challenge. With precision and programming skills that rivaled even the most advanced robots, these young engineers showed off their metal mettle in a battle to move ping-pong balls and wooden objects into a target zone. The school assembly allowed students to showcase their creativity and innovation, leaving no doubt that they’re well on their way to becoming the next generation of tech-savvy trailblazers.
Student gears started turning term three when Provost Elementary chose to participate District Robotics Challenge. With precision-like coordination, Amy Rosenvall from the Innovative Learning team kick-started the challenge, introducing students to the complex-yet-calculable world of robotics. In no time, budding robotics enthusiasts transformed into teams of skilled operators, each equipped with an incredible kit to bring their mechanical masterpieces to life.
With proverbial sparks flying and motors whirring, students spent weeks fine-tuning their robotics creations. They assembled wheeled and tracked bases, each one as unique as the student who built it, and designed an array of tools, including arms, claws, and pushers, to complete the challenge. From collecting ping pong balls to hoisting wooden circles and blocks, these young engineers proved their mettle, moving an unwieldy oversized coin into the target zone.
After many iterations, Provost Elementary hosted a school-wide competition assembly asking students to strut their stuff by using robots to transport an array of objects– but this time, students received an imposed three-minute time limit.
The three minutes flew by quickly, and our teams experienced a whole gamut of emotion, testing and revamping their approach mid-competition. Sixteen teams tried their robot on the course, all with entirely different robots and strategies. Some crews encircled the objects and slid them, some grabbed and lifted them, and some pushed them bulldozer-style. One group even succeeded in getting every single object into the target zone– an incredible feat, considering the mass of objects.
Ultimately, the District Robotics Challenge was more than just a competition. Like a well-oiled machine, they worked together, overcame challenges, and emerged with pride in their accomplishments. Through the lens of robotics, students learn invaluable skills that will serve them well in all areas of their lives in problem-solving, critical thinking, and perseverance. With these new skills and a spark of creativity, these young roboticists are poised to reach for the stars and make a difference in the world, one circuit at a time.