After an intensive six-week build period, Bainbridge High School’s Team Spartronics will introduce their competitive recycling robot to the community at an open house this week.
The big event is from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, in BHS Building 300, Room 316, and will include light refreshments.
“We want the public to come out to see and hear from students who are having the ‘hardest fun of their lives,’” said teacher Enrique Chee, who leads the Spartronics, also known as FIRST Team 4915.
“You will meet our programming, mechanical, electrical and marketing teams, and you’ll get a first look at our recycling robot in action,” Chee added.
Team Spartronics are heading into their second year as a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics team. The theme for the 2015 FIRST competitive season is recycling.
After a national kickoff in January, 50 Spartronics students and 15 professional mentors began creating their robot from a common kit of re-usable modular parts provided by FIRST. The challenge: to engineer a robot that can win the Recycle Rush.
“The open house is an opportunity for us to show our appreciation and demonstrate how much community support enables us to do,” Chee said.
The game involves two alliances of three robots each.
The robots, weighing in at 120 pounds each, score points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers and properly disposing of swimming pool noodles that represent litter.
High school students from across the country will participate in regional and district events designed to measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration and the determination of students.
The season will culminate with the FIRST Championship, in St. Louis, Mo., April 22-25.
Inventor, entrepreneur and science and technology advocate Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989. His goal was to inspire young people’s interest in science and technology with robot-building activities he calls “Sport for the Mind.”
Based in Manchester, N.H., the not-for-profit organization works to motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills.
The Bainbridge team has found much support on the island, with sponsors ranging from Ace Hardware to Westside Pizza to Town & Country and beyond. The Bainbridge Schools Foundation has also provided more the $75,000 for K-12 robotics education.