Baton Rouge, La. (BRPROUD)– STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) has been a buzzword lately especially regarding robotics and other tech fields.
Students across Louisiana gathered together and competed with their robots at the Liberty High Vex Robotic Competition. The students designed, coded, drove the robots themselves.
Liberty Magnet High (LMH) Junior ROTC Senior Army Instructor, William Laigaie says, “it is the second of only two face-to-face live tournaments in the state, and we are proud to have put them on this year.”
Teams went head-to-head trying to score as many points as possible in a battle of the bots.
LMH robotics teacher and coach Brady Adamowicz explains, “in this competition, we have 4 teams that compete for each match. they form two alliances, and they try to score the most points. At the end of the day, we end up having one team that scores the most points out of all of them. They get to go to State, and then after that, they go to Worlds.”
The expanding world of robotics has brought forth a wider range of competition throughout the state.
“And that’s through the LSU stem pathways. so, really I think that’s the biggest thing that’s changed is that now we have a curriculum that basically tells teachers who don’t have any experience in robotics how to do it is that they can coach a team and coach students,” says Adamowicz.
It also offered more opportunities to students.
East Baton Rouge Parish Schools Army Instruction Director Robert Hyber says, “it teaches our kids the self-disciple and things like that, but we are much more now. We’ve expanded into the stem activities, the stem field, with robotics, and cyber, and even drones that we are starting to experiment with.”
These competitors say, persistence is key.
Competitors Jacob Craft & Team Last Minute Fidget 40171B says, “you definitely need patience. It’s the main thing because if you get frustrated and don’t have enough patience then you are not going to get it done.”
This competition encompassed education, creativity, and a little bit of fun.
Adamowicz explains, “every team has to create an engineering notebook in which they document the process of building the robots and then testing their robots, and coding their robots, and which they are practicing real-world skills that every engineer has to use in their career.”
“It’s pretty fun. It was nice to see how everything works and how programming works,” adds Craft.
At the end of the tournament, awards were given to teams that showed a diverse range of skills.
These awards included the excellence award, design award, and robot skills champion.