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Kingsford Heights Robotics team qualifies for State

The Kingsford Heights Robotics team competed at State in Indianapolis on March 10th, placing 47th. The success is impressive seeing as how this is a fairly refreshing venture for the Tigers. Two years ago, Kingsford Heights Elementary School welcomed a new and inventive club. The Robotics Club, available for grades 3-4, centers around exactly what it sounds like – building and programming robots.

The club allows students to dabble in a fun and refreshing kind of technology by building their robots from scratch. After it has been created, the robots are driven around and commanded to do various tasks that may have to be completed during competitions.

“Students need to understand that they will not always be actively building, but will always be an active part of the team. Students need to also be able to problem solve, and persevere, as well as be able to rethink a design if it doesn’t work for the intended purposes,” Mrs. Hiemstra, Robotics coach, said.

Competitions are an important aspect of the club as well. During the first year of the club, there was only one competition. This year, there were two local competitions. The club placed first, which allowed them to qualify for State.

As fulfilling as it is to win a competition, the club is more for the enjoyment of it. The students are learning something that most do not and having a blast while doing so.

“I enjoy seeing the kids get excited when their robot is built and can follow their commands,” Hiemstra said.

However, it can be difficult at times. Robotics is a fairly complicated skill to learn and requires a lot of hard work and dedication.

“The hardest part is the time and effort needed after having put in a full day in my classroom,” Hiemstra said.

Beyond the hardships, the Robotics club at Kingsford Heights and six other LPCSC schools have given young students the ability to dive into the world of technology in a way most other schools across the nation do not. With the opportunity to explore this new material, students will move onto understand engineering and computer skills at a much more advanced level.

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