Robot program slated at B-P

BROADALBIN – Some students in the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District will have the chance to build a robot thanks to a new after-school program.

Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson said 41 children in grades five to eight have expressed interest in being in a program in the 2014-15 school year that will allow them to compete in the First Lego League.

The First Lego League challenge allows students to construct a robot, while also solving a given scientific problem.

Students in seventh and eighth grade will use tools to build a robot that will compete in an obstacle-course-like challenge. Students in lower grade levels will not use tools to put a robot together.

Tomlinson said the challenge the students will compete in will be announced Tuesday.

According to the First Lego League challenge overview, during last year’s challenge, Nature’s Fury, students had to choose a location where a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or flood, could happen, identify a problem, such as who provides emergency food or clears debris, and as a team choose a specific problem and how to solve it.

Students have to complete a scientific proposal about the assigned unit, while also building the robot that will compete in the challenge.

Tomlinson said the district is investigating if teams will assemble their robots at the school district or at someone’s house.

Tomlinson said the length of competition will vary depending on what competition the different groups end up in. As an example, he said one team may compete at a competition in December, while another team may only have until November to complete its robot and project.

Tomlinson said the robotics program focuses on all of the STEM core: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

“It is a great opportunity for our community,” Tomlinson said of the program.