The Botball Tournament is a robotics challenge for both middle and high-school students, which encourages learners to build and develop their knowledge of technology, engineering and maths through creating a automated robot to solve a specific problem. Students are taught to use the C programming language and develop strategies using artificial intelligence with embedded systems. This is a team-oriented competition where by designing, building, programming, presenting and documenting robots, students use science, engineering, technology, math, writing and project management skills project that reinforces learning. The competition also follows the project/problem based, learn-by-doing style, so students go on to further develop their creative, leadership and teamwork skills.
This year 7 students from my school entered the 10th regional Botball Robotics Challenge held at the Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. This is our third year participating and we have students from the middle and high school. Further to this for the first time the girls outnumber the boys in the team. Girls rarely participate in such competitions and it is great to see a fair representation of male and female students as well as a fair representation of middle and high school students.
In the coming two months the teams will be meeting every day after-school for two hours and this will most probably increase as the competition day gets closer. This will be an exciting yet extremely valuable educational experience that students will take with them for years to come.
Botball now has regional competitions in the USA, Middle East, Europe and China. If your school would like to get involved you can visit the Botball website for further information.
With regards to our participation, I will be posting further updates here and on twitter. Watch this space.