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Christchurch School students compete in Robotics Challenge

Christchurch students Claude Owen of Manakin Sabot, Roy Berry of White Stone and Lam Nguyen of Vietnam work on Steve the robot.

Students in teacher Andy Angstrom’s Honors Computer Science class at Christchurch School (CCS) competed in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Tech Challenge on January 30 at Norfolk State University. More than 500 students from 65 teams from across Virginia entered the competition.

Unlike the other schools’ robots, the CCS robot “Steve” is made, almost entirely, from recycled parts that the class had salvaged in keeping with the school’s sustainability principles. In the competition, the robot had to clean up debris and rescue climbers from a mountain. Each match had two components: a 30-second autonomous round, in which the team had to pre-program the robot to complete a task, and then a two-minute driver-controlled period.

Angstrom, the school’s director of research, creativity and entrepreneurship, was pleased with the team’s first foray into competition. The class goals from the outset were innovation, inspiration, adaptation, initiative and persistence. “We’re tinkering every day. The class is skills-based and project-based. It gives kids the time they need to actually learn and innovate,” he said.

posted 02.10.2016

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