BAKER — Middle school students here now can use their programming and engineering skills while working with Lego robotics.
Five students in Baker's middle school robotics club are learning how to program and build EV3 Lego robots. The machines perform tasks such as completing a maze or moving objects to certain locations.
The work can be challenging, club members said.
"Not everyone can just program numbers into an EV3 (robot)," Lathem Brown, 13 said. "It takes dedication; if it (was) easy, everyone would do it."
Team members meet after school in their coach, Stacy Burlison's, classroom. Students learned about robotics through the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics curriculum, which is enhanced by the Lego program.
"The computer programming skills, the engineering skills to build the robot are wonderful, but not as great as the fact it teaches them to problem-solve and critically think through projects," she said.
Students must learn how to program a robot's movements, including calculating how far and which angle each robot needs to move.
"Programming is a main part of it," Ethan Nunley, 13 said. "Your turns have to be perfect."
The Baker team's turns apparently were perfect April 12, when they won first- and third-place prizes, along with a new Lego robotics kit, after competing in the first Okaloosa Robotics Invitational Tournament.
Well, Burlison said the school wants to start an elementary robotics club and compete in the First Lego League, which features teams from Bob Sikes Elementary School and Davidson and Shoal River middle schools. Baker has a high school team.