Innovative robots with cutting edge technology filled the rooms at McCollough Unis School as 500 kindergarten through 8th grade students from across the region competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Michigan State Qualifier Match and FIRST LEGO League Junior Exhibition. Dearborn Public Schools hosted the event on December 9.
FIRST – For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – is a world renowned robotics program that engages students in the application of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in exciting competitive challenges using robots.
Dearborn Schools’ Robotics Committee Co-chair Kidada Simmons explains, “Through FTC, teams of students compete in games that require them to design, build, test, and program autonomous and driver-operated robots that must overcome obstacles and meet challenges.”
In addition, “Participants learn important life skills, guided by a code of gracious professionalism we call coopetition,” Simmons notes. “They are rewarded for being helpful and kind to each other, especially when they see another team struggling.”
Dearborn’s robotics program continues to grow. Since beginning with one team at Fordson High School in 1989, this year Dearborn has 26 teams that engage students in grades K-12.
Notably, Dearborn has earned a positive reputation among educators across the region for its high level of parental involvement, supportive business community, and welcoming hospitality. Nearly 150 volunteers and numerous sponsors – including a variety of restaurants – worked together to make the FTC a fun, memorable experience for all who participated.
The District will host another regional robotics competition on May 12. Anyone interested in becoming a robotics team mentor or sponsor should contact Kidada Simmons at (313) 827-1700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.mcubots.us/home.
Photo’s courtesy of Daniel Jonathan Ernst