Fairmont Catholic School is taking a unique approach to robotics. While most schools focus solely on the technical aspects of building and coding robots, this school’s robotics team is exploring how robotics can be used to benefit the local community.
In preparation for their first competition in the First Lego League Challenge, the students were asked to consider how robotics could address community issues. Their ideas were truly innovative and aimed at helping two marginalized populations – the homeless and individuals struggling with addiction.
One team came up with the idea of building a community garden using robotics. The garden would not only be visually appealing but would also provide food for the homeless. What sets this idea apart is the use of sound waves to induce increased growth. With this approach, the garden could become a self-sustaining source of food, eliminating the need for costly human labor.
Another team had a different idea: hosting a video game tournament and using the proceeds to support agencies that help individuals with substance use issues. This approach highlights the potential for using technology and gaming for a greater social good.
What made this program particularly appealing to the creators, Julia Van Volkenburg and Amy Marchesani, was the opportunity to nurture their children’s interests in science and technology. They recognized the importance of introducing students to technology at a young age, allowing them to work together as a team while pursuing their passions.
The First Lego League Challenge also fosters creativity and emphasizes the connection between art and STEM fields. This year’s program theme, “Masterpiece,” encourages students to use their coding and engineering skills to communicate art.
The volunteers and coaches involved in the program bring a diverse range of expertise, from technology to speech pathology. They facilitate learning through hands-on experiences and ensure that the learning process remains enjoyable and exciting for the students.
The impact of this program extends beyond the competition itself. Students are developing skills that will benefit them in the future, and they are gaining a deeper appreciation for technology. The use of Legos keeps the learning process engaging and fosters a love for robotics from a young age.
Fairmont Catholic School’s approach to robotics is not just about building robots; it’s about using technology to make a meaningful difference in the community. By addressing real-world issues and combining technology with creativity, these students are becoming innovators and problem-solvers.
Q: What is the First Lego League Challenge?
A: The First Lego League Challenge is a robotics competition for students that aims to develop their skills in coding, engineering, and problem-solving.
Q: How are the students at Fairmont Catholic School using robotics to help the community?
A: The students at Fairmont Catholic School have come up with innovative ideas, such as using robotics to create a self-sustaining community garden for the homeless and hosting a video game tournament to support agencies helping individuals with substance use issues.
Q: What skills do students learn through programs like the First Lego League?
A: Students learn coding, engineering, critical thinking, teamwork, and problem-solving skills through programs like the First Lego League.
Q: How is art connected to STEM fields in the First Lego League program?
A: The First Lego League program recognizes that art and STEM fields are complementary. Students are encouraged to use their coding and engineering skills to communicate art.
Q: How do the volunteers and coaches support the students in the robotics program?
A: The volunteers and coaches bring their expertise in technology, speech pathology, and other fields to support the students’ learning. They make the learning process enjoyable and help students develop a love for robotics.
Q: What is the significance of introducing students to technology at a young age?
A: Introducing students to technology at a young age allows them to develop essential skills that will benefit them in the future. It also encourages their interests and passions in STEM fields from an early age.