Robotics club scoops key trophy at tournament

| 18/02/2013

robot1_img_2129_ag (300x297).jpg(CNS): Kids from a local school robotics club have won a coveted trophy at the regional Lego tournament in Florida in the first league of its kind. Cyber Rays, the Cayman Prep High School robotics club, won the Core Values trophy at the regional First Lego League tournament in Orlando earlier this month and have now advanced to the Florida State Championship to be held at the University of Central Florida in March. On Feb 2, the team of year 8 and 9 Prep students School competed in the one day tournament and secured one of the places in the state championship following a table run with 19 potential missions to complete within each 2.5 minute round. 

The 2013 Cyber Rays team includes Bronsan Hunt, Ryan Kirkaldy, Nick Crawshaw, Mike Boucher and Drew Milgate.  The coaches are Allison Smith (Teacher), David Kirkaldy and Jeff Boucher.  The Core Values trophy is one of the few that the team did not win during its first season in 2012.  The round is among the fundamental elements in the Lego League  where  participants learn that “friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork.”

Robotics is now a part of the curriculum at Cayman Prep High School using the LEGO NXT programmable brick system and accessory sensors.  Cayman Prep sponsored Allison Smith, ICT teacher and Cyber Ray’s head coach, who completed five days of training at the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) in Pittsburgh, PA, two years ago. 

The NREC is part of the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute, a world-renowned robotics organization. Smith, like all students at NREC, was introduced to the Lego robots and NXT-G programme as a part of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum.  Much of that training has now found its way into the Prep School curriculum with robotics an integral part of many classes.

“If the students have the skills to play games on the computer then they have the skills to program a robot,” said Smith. “The NXT-G programming software uses a graphics user interface to create very intricate programs which students are able to use to interact with their robots. The CPHS robotics programme is designed to engage students and develop their STEM skills.”

Alan Milgate, parent of Cyber Ray team member Drew said: “We could not be more proud of this group for their continued achievements, team spirit, national pride and the excitement with which they look forward to their next challenge.”


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