CROWN POINT |St. Mary Catholic Community School students got an introduction into engineering this spring as members of the Cybercatz robotics team.
Five students traveled to Crawfordsville to compete in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology's (FIRST) Tech Challenge. In an event called “Ring It Up,” teams were challenged to design and build a robot to move rings from one area to another on a playing field.
Coach Heather Clarkson, computer teacher at St. Mary's, hopes that opportunities like this will inspire young people to be science and technology leaders. The FIRST program builds science, engineering and technology skills, inspires innovation and fosters well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership.
"It is great to see students realize that they not only love what they are doing, but that it could actually lead to a career someday that they are excited about," Clarkson said.
Cybercatz Robotics Club members followed up their competition trip by providing robot demonstrations to guests at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago in honor of National Robotics Week.
This year, National Robotics Week focused on inspiring the next generation of innovators to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The Cybercatz gave visitors a real treat by letting them drive their robots around using an app on their phones.
This year’s team, the first of it’s kind at St. Mary’s, included sixth-graders Ernie Anderson and Mallory Ellenson, and seventh-graders Patrick Olenik, Brad Kozlowski and Samantha Perea. Adult mentors included Clarkson and volunteer engineer Dennis Hilburger.