Robotics Hype Growing In Elementary Schools (GALLERY)

Students at St. Elizabeth Catholic School involved in the First Lego League Robotics extra-curricular program. November 2, 2016. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

The St. Elizabeth Catholic School in Wallaceburg is getting some robotics equipment for a new extra-curricular program.

The program, “First Lego League Robotics” recently launched this school year.

Principal Liz Gibson says it started as a way to get students who may not have an aptitude for sports involved in other school activities.

“To be able to offer this free of charge to students to really develop that child to tap into other interests is exciting for students [and] it’s exciting for parents,” says Gibson.

She says students involved in the program are learning to work together and essentially learn about coding.

Since it’s a new program, funding for equipment had been limited but the school has received a helping hand.

St. Elizabeth’s is one of 17 schools to receive a $2,900 grant from Best Buy, in addition they also received a $1,000 grant from Aar-Kel Industries.

With the money received the students are able to buy more robotics equipment which will help them compete in a Lego League Robotics challenge against other schools in the area.

Gibson says the competition theme this year is “Animal Allies,” which combines the idea of agriculture and technology.

“They have to program the robots to do different things to kind of live on the farm,” says Gibson. “They’re kind of simulating what life would be like taking care of a bunch of animals.”

Right now the program has 17 students involved, ranging from grades 6-8, but Gibson says once the competition is over they’ll probably open it up to the lower grades as well.

The first competition will be at the beginning of December in Sarnia.

Related: Elementary Students Become Skilled In Coding (GALLERY)