ASD’s Robotics Program: Learning + Fun to Increase STEM & Collaborative Skills
Robotics is a hands-on, innovative and fun program designed to engage students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) while developing social/emotional skills involved with teamwork and collaboration.
“Students become builders, engineers and problem solvers while learning programming skills and fostering creativity. They struggle through conflicts, deal with failure, learn about problems in the community, and then take part in a public exhibition. I have had students tell me it was the most significant experience in middle school, and many have gone on to engineering and other STEM programs because they realized their passion for the subject.” Caroline Hanson, Aspen Middle School Enrichment Coordinator and STEM teacher
The high school team allows students who have a deeper interest in engineering and team collaboration to explore mechanics in greater depth, develop coding skills to make a robot operate, communicate with an international community of learners like themselves, and promote a team in the community and beyond.
Both the middle and high school programs culminate with local and regional tournaments that inspire friendly competition and real-world learning. The competitive format gives students an authentic audience and motivates them to achieve at a high level against students throughout the state and western region. Aspen Middle School has fielded teams at the state, national, and international level, and the high school team is not only a state-ranked team, but last year was one of five teams in the state to compete against teams from 16 Western states.
The program celebrates 10 years of success and growth – starting with two teams in 2009 and now serving up to 30 AHS students, and allowing 90+ middle school kids to compete and another 200 to take exploratory classes. In addition, the middle school hosts a regional tournament.
The needs of the robotics program include:
- More material and parts to build and repair robots
More material and parts to build and repair robots
Travel and registration fees for tournaments
- Additional staff to support program growth