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Robotics Competition in St. Louis Draws 29,000 Students

Robotics has become a pretty important extension of the STEM curriculum over the past decade or so. Robotics programs are increasing in success and a recent competition in St. Louise, Missouri is evidence of that. Roughly 29,000 students attended the competition.

Not only was the event an impressive gathering of STEM minds, but it was also a global event with students from 40 different countries and all 50 states, according to a Columbian Missourian post from The Associated Press.

The For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology competition began on Thursday and lasted for three days. During the event, there were  matches and presentations by diverse groups of K-12 students.

“In January, groups of students in grades seven through 12 were given a problem to solve as well as a box of parts, motors, sensors and gears,” according to the report.

“With the help of mentors from companies such as Honeywell and Boeing, they designed, built and programmed a robot to take on various tasks on a game table or court.”

Robotics has been one of the most engaging and entertaining forms of afterschool programming recently, and fosters students’ growth in programming and engineering. The enthusiasm at such events is contagious.

“The students have qualified for this week's championship by beating others at state and regional competitions throughout the school year,” according to the report.

“During the competition, the robots work to outmaneuver one another by hurling boulders through the window of a tower and attempting to scale their opponent's tower.”

"It's really spectacular and kind of a rush," said Thomas Mills, a high school senior from Florissant, in the report.

Getting students excited about these educational and fun programs really helps to increase the “cool factor” of  emerging STEM fields.

Read the full story here.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor.

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