OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Students at Owings Mills High School in Baltimore County are using math, science and technology to build a robot. It's known as the "Rebound Rumble."
Robots programmed to play basketball with human help. The robot must shoot into baskets at three different levels to get points.
It's all part of the FIRST Robotics Competition.
"It's not just building a robot, that is a side trip. You want to see the students grow. We want to take the stem thing beyond just what we do here at school. We want it to be something the students can grow from and they can use in their career," said Ronald Rivers, teacher at Owings Mills High School.
The FIRST Robotics Competition is known as the "Superbowl of Smarts." These students have a limited time to build the robot and get it moving.
The Regional Competition is fast approaching in March. Students are ready for the final test and it works. Educators say the competition has been a positive influence on students.
"I think the thing about this program is it really does prepare you for the real world. It sets up. It helps you learn how to look over a problem, figure out the best way of solving it and getting it done in a reasonable time frame in certain constraints," said Paul Raynes, a Junior in the FIRST Robotics Competition.
New Town High School is also getting in on the action. These students are competing in the Vex World Championship in California in April.
The competition requires teams to build and program robots to put different sized spheres and cylinders into goals. The robot is no larger than 18 inches.
"I always like to tinker and try to build things myself. It creates an atmosphere of innovation where I could explore what I could do. The possibilities were endless so it was a great place to find myself and what I wanted to do," said Mokunfope Fatukasi, a New Town High School student in the Vex Competition.
Educators and mentors for the Robotics Teams say this competition is a great exercise of hands on learning.
"A lot of what they are learning in class is not applied and many of the students don't understand why they are taking the class so this gives them an opportunity to see what math is really about," said Robyn Needel, a Mentor for students.
Educators say the Robotics Programs expose students to science, technology, engineering and math concepts for future careers.
The Regional FIRST Robotics Competition is March 9th and 10th at the Baltimore Convention Center. The VEX World Competition is scheduled for April 16th in Anaheim, California.
The invitation to the World Competition is a big honor, but pricey. The entry fee for the World Championships is $750. This includes the cost of parts for a robot and sending four students from New Town and 15 from Owings Mills to California for a week.
It could cost as much as $1,000 per person. The teams are holding fundraisers and they need sponsors to help with the cost.
If you would like to help, please visit these web sites:
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