Innovations in robotics can aid humans in a number of ways. New devices are helping by finding individuals lost in collapsed mine shafts, lifting regularly unmovable objects, or helping children with autism spectrum disorders learn how to interact in a social environment. Because of these benefits that machines can give people, more schools and organizations are allowing students to participate in robotics competitions so they can develop an interest in the field. This includes middle and high schools from Dickinson, North Dakota, according to the Dickinson Press.
For the first time ever, Dickinson held a robotics competition on October 15. Students and participants were introduced to the event on September 3, where they were given the rules and materials for the competition, the news source reported.
"It's an amazing event," Kasey Kessel, the coach from Trinity High School's robotics team, told the Dickinson Press. "You get the plywood, pipe, screws and nuts – the raw materials – now go build a robot."
The judging and scoring process is based on the construction and performance of the robot, as well as other areas where students can learn, such as marketing, interviewing and sportsmanship. The schools involved were encouraged to bring fans and engage with audience members to help their scores.
By participating in the event, students can learn the basics skills involved in the engineering process as well as the design and building procedures of building a robot. More than 17 teams participated in the event, according to the Press.
"What people don't realize is that engineers sometimes fail and go back to the drawing board – that's part of the process," Paul Johanson, the chairman of the Dickinson State University department of math and computer science, told the news source.
DSU organized the event with money from a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education grant.
These types of robotics events are held all around the country. For example, high school students prepared for weeks for the recent T-Robo Competition and Geek Fest at Western Technical College's Branch Campus in El Paso. This event also demonstrated the necessity of STEM, according to the El Paso Times.
The point of many of these competitions is to show the importance of math and technology, as well as the fact that learning these sciences can be a fun and engaging process.