HSJA Robotics Club Preps for Growth

HSJA Robotics Club Preps for Growth
Posted on 02/04/2019
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The Junior Academy Robotics Club celebrates the first year as a team, and is busy learning new skills and setting goals for competitions in 2019-2020. HSJA Math Teacher Mr. Willard is the club sponsor, which includes eight students who have all been involved with previous Robotics Clubs in elementary school. Like the HSWCHS Robotics Club, they chose this year to compete in FIRST Tech Robotics, where students in 7th-12th grade are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots. At events, they compete in teams with other schools to complete robotic skills and challenges, and must present to a panel of judges a full Engineering Book recording their collaborative efforts to design, practice, and promote robots and robotic skills.

The team attended one competition this year at National Park College in Hot Springs. All team members and Mr. Willard agree that it was the best learning experience they could have chosen. They worked with teams from across Arkansas to learn about the many ways that teams acquire new equipment, develop new skills, and build a winning robotic system and plan. They also built a strong relationship with the HSWCHS Robotics Club, who will provide support through the end of this school year in helping to build coding and robotic design skills, and in identifying ideas for promoting robotics in the community.

HSJA 7th grader Sasha Thomas says, “I enjoy robotics because we get to work as a team.” Another 7th grader and team member Jacob Tyler says, “I enjoy robotics because I get to have fun with friends while learning new things.”

Mr. Willard also points out that some of the best things they are learning are collaborative skills, and a full understanding of the engineering cycle - regarding the process of discussing and designing, then testing, and then refining a product until it works to its maximum capacity.

The club is open to other 7th-8th grade members, but the team stresses that the time to join is either now, or at the beginning of next school year. A new theme will be named by First Tech Challenge in September of 2019, at which point the team will go into full gear for building a new robot and refining skills, and compiling an Engineering Book for 2020 competitions. Students interested should contact Mr. Willard, and be available to attend after school practice two times per week.

Learn more about FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Teams, here. Learn more about our HSWCHS Robotics Club here. Learn more about our Gardner STEM Lego League Robotics Club, here.  Learn more about the #HSSD Junior Academy, here.


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