PARKWAY'S ROBOTIC TEAM TO COMPETE IN WASHINGTON D.C.
Robots took over the Bossier Civic Center this past Saturday and many of the masterminds behind them were Bossier Parish students.
Some 93 teams in all competed in the Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit (RARC), Competition III, as well as the regional Mini-Urban Challenge. And by the end of the day, Parkway High School's Robotics Team emerged as the winner in the overall competition, proving that LEGOs are not just for child's play.
The regional Mini-Urban Challenge required high school students to design and operate a robotic car, then program it to navigate a LEGO city. Throughout the event, teams utilized their skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). They also demonstrated their understanding of STEM skills and robotics during oral presentations.
After racking up the most points, Parkway High School was awarded a $500 check, a trophy and the honor of representing our area on May 26 at the 2012 National Competition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The Mini-Urban Challenge is sponsored by The Institute of Navigation and the United States Air Force Research Laboratory.
Elementary and middle school teams also competed. The RARC, Competition III required students in grades 4-12 to build on the skills they learned from the first two competitions and to demonstrate their problem-solving skills and creativity. For this competition, teams were allowed to construct their robot using the basic kit and accessories. Team then had to program their robot to autonomously navigate an obstacle course while avoiding traffic markers, crossing speed bumps and getting past other barriers.
The Eagles from Elm Grove placed second in the middle school division. In the elementary division, Team Sparks from Central Park Elementary won first place and Stockwell Team 4 finished third. When the final competition is held in May, grand champions in each division will be named based on the accumulation of points from all four competitions. Those teams will then be awarded trophies and technology awards for their schools.
G.B. Cazes, Director of the Cyber Innovation Center's Academic and Workforce Development Program, was pleased that both competitions were such a success.
"With each competition we see the number of participating schools grow," Cazes said. "The feedback from parents, teachers and students indicate that STEM programs are not just needed but desired at every grade level. The CIC will continue to develop new and innovative programs to meet this need."