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Urban 4-Hers Enter Robotics Competition

extension robotics
February 20, 2020

Gaining Understanding of Engineering Process

Ten Alabama 4-H teams from Lawrence and Madison county competed in the VEX 1Q Robotics Competition at Wallace State Community College on February 1. These teams represented 29 students from Rolling Hills Elementary School, Morris P8, Madison Elementary School and Owens Crossroads Elementary School in Madison County, and homeschooled students in Lawrence County.

The middle school pupils were required to design and build a robot that would compete against other robots in an engineering game-based challenge. As part of their overall scores, teams were judged on robot design, programming skills, and use of the VEX IQ notebook. The VEX IQ notebook documented the design, mathematical and other processes used to create and operate robots. The competition allowed students to enhance their leadership, teamwork, communication, and other STEM-related skills.

"I coached two teams comprised of homeschoolers that rarely get the chance to work with other students. Participating on a robotics team helped them grow their communication and collaboration skills. These skills are essential for success in the twenty-first century,” said Jessica Williams, STEM coach and urban regional Extension agent.

“I was impressed with not only how well they worked together as a team, but also how well they communicated and strategized with other teams during the actual competition," she said.

The Lawrence County students will go on to participate in the Alabama 4-H STEM Expo on March 12 in Russellville.

Sponsorship was provided by Alabama Extension, Robotics Education Competition Foundation, Rolling Hills’s 21st Century Grant BOOST Program, and a Girl Powered grant. Plans are already underway to expand the program next year.

“I am so proud of all my Urban 4-H participants. I truly saw them grow in confidence and understanding of the engineering process. I look forward to expanding our reach even further in the realm of robotics and STEM through our 4-H programs in Madison County,” said urban regional Extension agent James Fountain.

Contact 4-H youth development specialist Angela Williams at (256) 372-5713 to learn more about Urban 4-H activities.

Caption:  Urban 4-H VEX IQ Robotics teams from Madison and Lawrence counties.