Engineering a "Bot" Competitor

Students in Project Lead the Way POE class have been working diligently and having fun in anticipation of the upcoming face-off against area high schools and colleges. From different concepts to a final design, students have been encouraged to think outside of the box to invent a robot to battle in the competition. The design that seems to be sticking with the students is a wedge design.

Elizabeth Wirrig '11 took notes on the dimensions of the robot as well as drew a scaled design on paper. Students then uploaded the dimensions in a computer aided design program or CAD before beginning their construction of the bot. According to teammate Justin Overman '10, "Our initial design was a pyramid shape for the robot,” but the group agreed upon the simple wedge design which they judged to be more effective.

Categories that the battle bots will be judged on at the competition in Upper Valley include aggression, control, and damage. Students plan to incorporate all these factors into their latest design and are eager to enter their Eagle bot into the ring.

POE and Introduction to Engineering classes are a part of the STEMM program at Chaminade Julienne. As their instructor, Bob Young oversees the students' project, but requires them to take all parts of the work in to their own hands—he's on hand to offer advice, but from start to end, it is the students' project. This is the second year he has taught this class, and the first time CJ's students will have an entry in competition.

Young believes that one of the main benefits to the program is that students learn time management skills because of their other curricular and post-curricular involvements. “Students benefit from meeting deadlines, working hands-on, and learning about time management,” he said.

The class itself offers students considering majors in college like industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, and other science and math-based fields the opportunity to work on smaller projects with the benefit of a collaborative atmosphere. In addition to the battle bot project, Joseph Sculpski '10, is working on his dark and light marble sorter, which according to Scupski, “uses light cells and gates separate the marbles.”