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Pushing the Robotics Envelope

East Islip HS tech students push the robotics envelope thumbnail180709

The high school’s robotics classes recently completed a multi-day tournament with their newly constructed VEX Swept Away game robots, guided by technology teacher James Connell. The student groups had six weeks to design, build and test their robots prior to the competition, which is designed to help introductory robotics students learn about competition robotics. 

This year presented some interesting challenges, as many of the students were part of the district’s hybrid model of instruction. This meant that they were only constructing their robots for half the week while studying and learning robotics theory – such as gear ratios, electronics and chassis design – for the second half. Since the school has been utilizing Google Classroom for the entire year, the matches were recorded and posted on class Google streams with daily results so that students could rewatch, study and analyze their teams’ victories and losses. This proved to be an asset for the students in designing and creating the best competition robots possible.

Middle school technology education students were also invited to watch and study some of the matches live via Google Classroom, to help make them more familiar with the high school’s robotics program.

The high school’s robotics students will be studying programming next, so that they can design and create new robots that can drive autonomously for a forthcoming new modified game.

“This year’s robotics classes really pushed the envelope and made excellent competition robots,” Connell said. “We’ve been playing the VEX Swept Away game with my classes for the past few years, and I’ve never seen top performances like this before. I’m looking forward to seeing what they will come up with next.”

“It was a great experience for the middle school students to get some insight in to what they could be doing within technology education classes when they get to the high school,” said technology teacher William Lackner.

“My students were quite impressed with the fact that we were seeing an event happening live at the high school,” said technology teacher Pamela Avella. “It was a great way to connect the middle school and high school technology courses.”

“As a person who has a very serious interest in a career in robotic engineering, I feel like this class has provided me with a good start on that path,” said high schooler Kaityln McCall. “Competing against my peers and having my robot perform at such a high level was an amazing experience.”

 

 

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021