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North Little Rock High School

Learning About Robotics

Learning About Robotics

For introducing middle school students to basic engineering concepts, the 2004 Grand Prize winner in the Student2Student recognition program is North Little Rock High School West in Little Rock, Ark.



Champions at Work

To earn the grand prize, SkillsUSA members in the robotics and drafting programs at North Little Rock High School West mentored students at four middle schools in their district using the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) curriculum materials.

With the help of North Little Rock High students, the middle schools acquired A World in Motion (AWIM) materials free from SAE. AWIM includes nine motorized car kits for middle school students to design and build. The AWIM kits included enough materials for up to 100 students per school. The program helps students learn about design, building, gear ratios and the marketing of the completed cars.

Two afternoons a week for two months, SkillsUSA students worked on the cars with the middle school students and gave presentations on the basic engineering concepts such as of gear ratios. Administrators at one of the schools, Poplar Street Middle School, allowed all students to elect to attend the twice weekly meetings.

In addition to the AWIM project, North Little Rock students also worked with Poplar Street's Lego robotics program. From a pool of applicants who also participated in the AWIM program, a top team was selected by Poplar Street Middle School administrators. SkillsUSA students coached that team and also held a small Lego robotics competition for Poplar Street. Lego teams design, build and program robots made with Lego building blocks.

High school mentors and the top Poplar Street Lego robotics team members presented the details of their projects at a school board meeting.