The program, called “Robotics Experience,” has included teaching the students to build several types of robots and a tour of the Mercedes plant in Vance. Students have learned about mechanics, soldering and teamwork during the program.
“The Mercedes plant was really amazing,” Caleb Downs, a student in the program, said. “They were all really friendly and it was always about the team effort, never relying on just one person.”
The grant from CFGB, Alabama Power and Bevill State paid for the cost of the four-day program and supplies, meaning students did not have to pay for their involvement.
The program was open to students in grades 9 through 12 in all Walker County-area schools. This week’s program had 13 participants, but the middle school program, scheduled for July 9 to 12, will be just for students in grade 7 and 8.
There are approximately 20 students registered for that program.
The instructor, Veronica Baugh, along with five college students, helped the students build robots for battles on Monday, toured the Mercedes plant on Tuesday, learned to solder parts and build robotic arms on Wednesday and today they will build robots for competition.
“The grant was based on keeping the students involved,” Baugh said. “When we finish the program, we will check back in with these students in six months and in a year. The idea is that their interest, performance, attendance and involvement will be better than it was before the program.”