I.J. Holton robotics teams give school board demonstration
Published 10:24 am Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Robots took over the beginning of the Austin Public Schools board meeting Monday night.
The two I.J. Holton Engineers sixth-grade robotics teams demonstrated their robots to the board.
Board member Angie Goetz was excited to see the drivers navigate the robots to stack different pieces on top of others to reenact some of the things the students were required to do while competing.
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“I think that I speak for the entire board when I say how proud we are of you guys,” Goetz said. “We know that that takes a lot of work. And those drivers, I can’t imagine the pressure at the state level to be driving them.”
The two teams competed and won awards at the state robotics tournaments in late January. Each team designed and built a robot using the VEX Robotics Design System to compete in the game Skyrise, using their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The teams have been sponsored by Mayo Health Systems Austin, Austin Electric, Austin Education Foundation, Kestner Electric, and Thompson Electric, and have been mentored by Riverland Community College Instructor Bob Bender. The sixth-graders competed with high schoolers and even a few college-age students.
A lot of learning is done on the robotics team, and the robots start as pieces in a box. The students build the robot, learn about mechanisms, ratios, torque and force, different lift systems, chassis, which wheels to choose and more. They also learn about programming code and working with many types of motors.