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STEAM Showcase a Great Asset


Five of the 13 students in Mr. Joe Afflerbach’s robotics course attended a STEAM Showcase on Sept. 27 at the Circuit Center and Ballroom in Pittsburgh.

The students, along with Mr. Afflerbach and Mr. Nick Helbling, presented the robots they’ve been designing and programming since the start of the school year. They also were able to present to other schools what Hampton is doing with its robotics program and gather tips and tools from other presenters on how to expand and improve Hampton’s program. The robotics course is new for the 2016-2017 School Year.

Junior Alex D. designed a robot using a VEX Robotic Design system that was on display at the event. The objective of the robot was for it to be able to maneuver from one corner of a square area into another without hitting any of the sides. The robot was not able to be demonstrated in action at the showcase due to space restrictions for each group.

Sophomore Morgan S. also attended the event and said she hoped to be able to use the skills she was learning in the new course in her future career. “I’ve always been really interested in robotics since I was a little girl.” Morgan was one of only a handful of students in the new course that had prior programming experience; however, she noted that the RobotC software the students were using for the course had a bit of a learning curve. “It took a little figuring out, but I know a little bit of Java, so that helped.”

Mr. Afflerbach and Mr. Helbling, along with several other High School faculty and staff, were trained in using the robotics software last year. Funding to purchase the software program and for the professional development component of the new course were paid for with grant money from the Grable Foundation.

The course is designed to take one semester to complete, Mr. Afflerbach said, adding that he has 14 students registered for the course for next semester. “I have some students I’ve taught for other classes who are expressing interest in taking this new course, so I’m thinking next year is going to be really crowded.”

Students from the Video News class at the High School also attended the event and created a video. The video they created will be shown at the Hampton Township School Board meeting tonight. Additionally, students from the robotics course will be on hand to discuss their experience.

The meeting is being held at 7 p.m. in the Dr. Harold Sarver Memorial Library. The public is encouraged to attend. The District will live tweet photos and information from the event, so be sure to check out @Hampton_Talbots on Twitter. 

Posted by berg in STEM, High School, STEAM on Monday October, 3, 2016 at 05:07PM
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