DSC1545 350x232 Regional competition challenges school teams to design, build, program robots

Student teams compete in
Robo Challenge Xtreme

GEORGETOWN, KY – A regional Robo Challenge Xtreme (RCX) returns to the campus of Georgetown College on Saturday, March 1.

It’s the fifth consecutive year for the College to host this fun way for students to expand their knowledge of math and science through a challenging robotics competition. Competition among student teams runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Georgetown College’s George H.W. Bush Center on College Street in Georgetown, Ky.

Nearly 100 teams from central Kentucky elementary, middle and high schools will be represented. The competition, presented in partnership with the Fayette County Public Schools, is designed to strengthen teamwork, communication, computer programming and problem solving skills. Participating teams are expected to come from Fayette, Scott, Madison, Grant, and Franklin counties.

Doors will open for the 24 rounds of elementary team competition at 7:45 a.m.; an awards ceremony is scheduled for approximately 12:30 p.m. in John L. Hill Chapel. Middle and high school competition of which there are 12 rounds begins at 1:30 p.m. and concludes with an awards ceremony at approximately 3:15 p.m. This year, the event is expected to attract nearly 500 students, parents, teachers, coaches and volunteers. Georgetown College students will serve as referees for the competitions along with faculty, area teachers and volunteers.

By using LEGO Mindstorm Robots, students design, build and program a robot to achieve tasks according to missions and rules provided by the competition organizer. A completed robot can use simple programming commands or be enhanced through the use of LEGO sensors. It’s an opportunity for students and their adult coaches to learn the value of patience and persistence through ‘trial and error’ and through structured problem solving as they endeavor to build and program a robot.

Other regional competitions are being held at South Oldham Middle, Crestwood, Kentucky, on March 1, and at locations in Campbell, Jefferson and Todd Counties on March 8. The East Kentucky RCX competition will be held March 22 at Morehead State University. Winning teams from each region then compete at the state Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) competition on April 22 at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

Andrea Peach, Ed.D., Professor of Education and Associate Dean of Graduate Education, works with Fayette County Public Schools to coordinate the competition for this region. Dr. Peach also conducts robotics camps for students each summer at Georgetown College, and is the lead for the Georgetown College Robot Use competition at the state STLP competition each year.