Robotics kick-off

Date Published: 
Nov. 24, 2017

Coastal Point photos • Laura Walter: Long Neck Elementary students grin as they begin building for the first time. From left are Laniya Gibbs, Kaya Mitchell, Austen Decker and Cael Gordon.Coastal Point photos • Laura Walter: Long Neck Elementary students grin as they begin building for the first time. From left are Laniya Gibbs, Kaya Mitchell, Austen Decker and Cael Gordon.The robotics movement has hit the Indian River School District. It’s grown slowly, but successfully in the past five years. Now, the IRSD has kicked off the competition season with a new crop of students. About 60 kids, as well as coaches and parents, attended a Nov. 13 kick-off event to review all elements of competition, most of them for the first time. When Long Neck Elementary School formed a new team this autumn, about 60 fifth-graders applied, and the 10 team members were chosen by lottery.

They will all eventually build and program a robot to complete tasks in a 4-by-8-foot Vex IQ playing field, to test their skills in programming, driving, building and problem-solving.
“The best robotics teams in the state are in this district … very good STEM teachers are in the district, and I know we’re going to become a powerhouse,” said Lord Baltimore Elementary School Assistant Principal Travis Bower, who has coached teams to the world competition.
Tournaments require teams to score points individually and by partnering with other teams. He said it’s incredible to watch English-speaking Delaware students communicate with Mandarin-speaking Chinese students.