On Saturday, September 29, 25 students and approximately eight parents from the Logan County 4-H Robotics Club will travel to Stillwater for their first state-level LEGO EV3 Mindstorm competition.
The Robotics Club began earlier this month using LEGO EV3 Mindstorm robotics kits.
“We plan on making a good effort and having fun while participating and learning from each other,” Cynthia Klumpp at the OSU Extension said. “This competition focuses on being competitor and team friendly; meaning members from other teams help each other and if a team is struggling to solve a problem, they will jump in and assist.”
The teams engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities, a movement set forth by the U. S. Department of Education to help teachers and parents prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow gains momentum. Through STEM, students interact with real-world programs and participate in learning activities that push students to investigate, understand and create solutions.
“The STEM to STEAM movement has been taking root over the past several years and is surging forward as a positive mode of action to truly meet the needs of the 21st century economy,” Klumpp said. “STEM alone may miss several key components that many managers, employer, educators and parents have voiced as a need for children to thrive in the present and rapidly approaching future. The “A” in STEAM stands for Art and educators and parents are finding this is a necessary component of our children’s learning to ensure they are able to incorporate more creativity in problem solving.”
Club facilitators guide students through a series of open-ended, problem-based challenges linked to real-life scenarios. Students team up to define a problem, brainstorm ideas, define design criteria, and apply their findings to develop and building innovative solutions, using the robots.
“Our desire is that the youth will have fun while learning, develop new friendships, and foster great work ethics and skills that will prepare them for the future,” Klumpp said.
This type of hands-on learning fosters team work, critical thinking, creative problem solving and communication skills that 4-H programs are known for, and coordinators seek community support to continue the robotics activities.
“We are looking for business and individual sponsors for the 4-H Robotics club,” Klumpp said. “To keep up with the demand and interest in the program, we need more LEGO EV3 Mindstorm Kits and laptop computers. More kits and computers will allow us to offer the program to more students and more communities. We will gladly accept your support and contributions for this amazing program.”
For more information on Logan County 4-H, joining the Robotics Club or another club in your area, call the OSU Extension Center, 405-282-3331.