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LEARNING DISGUISED AS ROBOTS: Eagle Tech students explore design

April 18, 2013

Chris Elston demonstrates a robot he helped his team, 1501, build and design for the 2013 season. The robot had to fling frisbees at a target as well as other tasks within the competition. Post & Mail photo / Christie Barkley

COLUMBIA CITY — A Design Processes class is already being taught to students at Eagle Tech Academy, but now that technology has the opportunity to advance learning outside of the classroom.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics is a worldwide organization that creates a learning environment and competition for students of all ages.

Representatives from FIRST were on hand last night for a presentation to students and parents on starting a program at ETA.

“This program can develop the curiosity into technology,” said Steve Florence, 14-year mentor with FIRST. “It will also give students more confidence and self-respect.”

FIRST clubs purchase a robotic kit which students design, construct and program. Given specific boundaries to operate within, students take their robot to various competitions. These robotic games are much like sporting events. Teams generate points and advance to other rounds.

“This type of program gets kids passionate about something,” Florence said. “They learn leadership skills and build relationships with community members. There is something for everyone in this program.”

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