This program is for kids 9-14 years old and a team of 10 students. It consists of three components: Core Values, Research Project and Robotics. The Core Values are a set of skills learned and practiced throughout the season. They include teamwork, innovation, impact, inclusion, exploration, fun. Upon these principles, the team works together to develop the other two aspects of the competition. The research project entails identifying a real-world problem related to the theme for the season. This year it was human needs during long-term space travel. After researching the theme and learning about it, the team identifies a problem and proposes a solution. They create a prototype, obtain feedback from interested parties, modify their solution, and then present their conclusion in a formal presentation to the judges at the competition. The third component is building a robot, using the Lego Mindstorms platform, which interacts with Lego models attached to a competition table. Each model is related to the theme, and the team earns points for each mission the robot successfully completes in 2.5 minutes. They have five months to prepare for the competition.
The students learn the engineering design process, simple programming, basic robotic concepts, sensors, strategy, keeping notes, communication skills, advertising, marketing, teambuilding skills, cooperating while competing, and gracious professionalism. All this is in the context of playing with technology and having fun with friends! Meetings will be evenings and Saturdays at the Library and occasionally other locations as necessary. Exact times TBD. Costs should be minimal and hope to be covered by fundraising efforts.