I advise an award-winning robotics program at a Middle School. My husband once described the robotics program like this: “It’s exactly like The Karate Kid, only with robots instead of karate.” He was being facetious, but when I think about it, he may have been on to something.
Like the protagonist in the movie, my students are underdogs.
They live in the community of City Heights, a diverse, high-poverty, and crime-ridden area. All of my students qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. They have to contend with many barriers and obstacles including unequal access to resources. Moreover, they all share a thirst for learning about technology, specifically engineering and robotics.
As part of the students' robotics competitions that they compete in annually, they have to construct a gameboard. Yes, these middle school students do it on their own with my guidance. They cut pieces of wood and pvc pipes, drill holes, then place screws to attach the various pieces.
In addition to building and constructing the gameboards each year, the students also use the tools in building their robots for the competitions.
Currently we only have one drill so having another one will increase our productivity. Furthermore, through years of use, the screwdrivers and pliers that we currently have need to be replaced.
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