Every school year, our middle school students choose a club to join for the year with options that range from Cooking Club to Basketball Club. Thanks to our partnership with Communities in Schools, the DuBow Family Foundation, and Shiva Robotics, this year our students had the opportunity to join Robotics Club.
When MWYF’s middle school students were choosing a recreational or educational club to join for the 2018-2019 school year, there was one new option- Robotics! Robotics teaches students about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) through various hands-on activities such as building robots and learning how to control them through coding. The robotics club eventually formed into a tight knit group of several students; Amaya, Christian, Kendall, Tatiayana, Thylur, Tywan, and Valor -with staff member Ms. Emily as their coach.
The Robotics Club (who named themselves ‘Exotic Robotics’) originally met twice a week but began practicing up to four times a week as they prepared for their first ever tournament. Team members had extra motivation to finish school work on time and ace tests and quizzes, since maintaining good academics is required to participate in the club. Stanton High School student coach Vireli also joined the team, bringing several years of hands-on experience to help our rookie team learn the ropes.
We asked some of our Exotic Robotics team members what their favorite part of Robotics Club is:
The months spent practicing finally paid off when Exotic Robotics attended the FIRST LEGO League’s qualifying tournament. Spending all day together at the tournament, along with hours of practicing made the team even stronger. Out of the twelve teams competing, Exotic Robotics won the Champion’s Trophy and was one of the three teams chosen to move on to regionals!
With their first trophy in hand, Exotic Robotics had even more motivation to continue their hard work as they headed toward the Renaissance Jax FIRST LEGO League Regional Championship. Despite all of their hard work and dedication, our students did not advance to the next round, but they didn’t leave regionals empty handed! Out of the fifty teams that participated, Exotic Robotics won the Judge’s Award after making a connection with judges. Although they didn’t make it to the next level of the competition, our students kept a positive attitude and are focused on building a legacy for future students to build. Many of the students plan to become robotics coaches themselves when they enter high school. We are so proud of Exotic Robotics, both students and coaches, and can’t wait to see what they accomplish next year!