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Lesson 1: Competitive Robotics


1.  Attention (5 Min.)

Throughout the world, there are many different types of robotics competitions. Some use large, 250 pound robots to destroy each other in  a battle to the death, while others use small humanoid robots to play soccer. All of these competitions are not only for fun, but also for the valuable experience and learning that can be achieved. Take a look at this video about the VEX Robotics Competition World Championships.

The VEX Worlds Experience

2. Learners Guidance

Competitive robotics competitions offer a unique platform for students to apply their knowledge and skills in a fun and challenging environment. Let's explore some key aspects of competitive robotics:

a. Engineering Skills: Competitive robotics involves designing, building, and programming robots to complete specific tasks or challenges. This process requires a range of engineering skills, such as mechanical design, electrical wiring, coding, and problem-solving. You will learn how to turn their ideas into tangible creations and gain hands-on experience with various technologies.


b. Teamwork and Collaboration: Competitive robotics is often a team-based activity. You will collaborate with their teammates to brainstorm ideas, divide tasks, and work together to build and improve your robots. This fosters teamwork, communication, and the ability to work effectively in a group setting. You will learn how to leverage each team member's strengths and overcome challenges collectively.


c. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving: Competitive robotics competitions present students with complex challenges that require critical thinking and problem-solving skills. You will analyze the problem, devise strategies, and iterate on their designs to achieve optimal performance. Through trial and error, you will develop resilience, adaptability, and the ability to think creatively under pressure.


d. Communication and Presentation Skills: In competitive robotics, students often need to explain their designs, strategies, and outcomes to judges, other teams, and the public. Effective communication and presentation skills are essential to convey ideas clearly and persuasively. You will gain experience in public speaking, preparing technical documentation, and presenting their work confidently.


e. Time Management and Organization: Competitive robotics involves juggling multiple tasks, deadlines, and responsibilities. You will learn to manage their time efficiently, prioritize tasks, and meet project milestones. These skills are valuable beyond robotics and can be applied to other areas of their academic and personal lives.


3.  Explore (25 - 30 Min.)

Although these general benefits of competitive robotics are very important, iot is also important to find what drives you to be the best you can be. Have individual students or student's in groups discuss these questions: What are they most excited for? What are they nervous about? What are their own personal goals for this camp? Feel free to have them write these down or just talk amongst themselves. 

Have students write down 3 things they hope to learn, 3 things they are excited to do, and 3 personal goals for this camp.

4. Share ( 15 Min.)

Have students share their responses with the class. Make sure to include all students and begin to get the kids comfortable with you and each other. It is preferred to have this be a conversation between the students, but it is also okay if you just go in a circle and share your answers.

5. Closure (5 Min.)

Bring attention back to you and share a couple of the student’s answers that stuck out to you. Be sure to praise students who were shy and those who shared. Do a quick summary of the learner’s guidance section and try to see if students can remember them.