Engineering: Fun and inspiring for all ages
This past Saturday, I spent a big chunk of my day at the Robofest World Championships.
Held at Lawrence Technological University, in Southfield, MI., Robofest is a robotics competition designed to promote and support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) for students in grades 5-12.
The two-day competition saw teams from all over the world, including South Korea, Mexico, Canada, and the United States compete for prizes and recognition.
The challenge is to design and build robots to compete in various categories, being:
- Game Competition
- RoboFashsion & Dance
- Vision Centric Robot Challenge
- nVn RoboSumo
- Hexapod RoboSumo
- Bottle RoboSumo
As I walked the floor viewing the exhibits, some kids simply grabbed me and pulled me over to their tables, anxious to give me a demonstration and talk about their projects. Austin Heidrich, from Texas, gave me a wonderful articulate demonstration of his Star Wars themed robots as they battled and responded to light sensors in his light saber.
The People’s Choice Award went to an absolutely great exhibit from a team that traveled all the way from South Korea. Their exhibit pitted bad food vs. good food. With their entry being able to distinguish between the two. The little kid dressed up as a hamburger was hilarious.
An all-girls Irish themed team won first place in their division of FashionDance. Their robots, complete with little legs that moved, danced and moved along with them during their dance presentation.
It was great to see the creativity and thought pouring out of these young minds. Who knows what one of the young engineers in this room may go on to create. If you get the opportunity, Robofest is a definite event to attend, don’t forget to bring your kid.