The Kingsley 4-H Robotics Team
4-H City and the Vex IQ Robotics Competition
On December 19, 2014 The Kingsley Association and Penn State Extension’s 4-H CITY Robotics Team competed for the first time in a city-wide Vex IQ Robotics competition at the Sarah Heinz House. Penn State Extension and The Kingsley Association have partnered together to bring the 4-H model to urban youth in Pittsburgh. Through the 4-H CITY program youth learn leadership skills, the value of community service, health & wellness and STEM. The 4-H CITY program partnered with the CMU Robotics Academy to provide the youth with Vex IQ Robotics kits, a Vex IQ game board, staff training and programming software.
The 4-H CITY Robotics Program brought STEM programming to middle school and high school age youth in the Larimer community. We were able to provide a STEM program that our youth were able to get excited about. Meeting the students in a place that was outside of the traditional ways they have been introduced to STEM programming made a huge difference, they became engage in the learning process and were able to have fun while learning valuable skills.
The youth who participated in the program learned about:
- Robot C programming language – the first step to learning the widely used C++ programming language
- Science – the youth learned the science of motion, power, and force
- Technology – the students learned the process of data transfer across digital mediums and how to trouble shoot issues
- Engineering – the students built their very own robot for the competition – through this process they developed their problem solving skills and solidified the relationship of physics and engineering in their minds
- Mathematics – during the competition the team had to complete a challenge that required them to calculate and solve problems of distance, rotation, timing and location.
While our team had just 1 month to prepare for the competition they were able tied for 4th place out of 16 teams! The morning of the competition our team was nervous about how they would perform with so little time to prepare but they put their nerves aside to go out and compete against teams who had been practicing for 3 times as long. The competition started out a little bit slow but once they began winning matches they gained confidence and started to believe that they could compete on the same level as the other teams. Their amazing 4th place finish taught them that no matter what the challenge if you try your best and give it your all you will be proud of the result at the end. These remarkable young men learned about the power of team work and collaboration.
We would like to send a big THANK YOU to the CMU Robotics Academy, Robotics instructors Seth Finch, Dana Lance, and Christian Hughes, and 4-H Educator Alyssa Lyon for making this program possible.