The popularity of robotics engineering in education continues to grow, as does the size of the highly successful robotics team at Prince of Peace Catholic Middle School. The team recently added three trophies to their collection from the Shelton State BEST “Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology” Robotics Competition in October.
The team took second place in the engineering notebook category, third place for T-shirt design and third place in the “BEST Award” category.
By placing third in the BEST category, the POP team advanced to the five-state regional competition at Auburn University, which was in December.
POP ranked highest of all competing middle schools and outperformed 11 high schools. The team was also invited to be part of the Shelton’s BEST Engineering Day event in the spring. POP’s robotics team has been competing in the BEST Robotics program for the past seven years.
Prince of Peace is beginning to incorporate a model of BEST Robotics into its middle school curriculum to advance its STREAM initiative (science, technology, religion, engineering, the arts, and mathematics.) The school has added coding to its technology curriculum and has partnered with CTS, a Hoover-based technology provider, to use game-based programming to introduce critical thinking and coding principles that go hand in hand with robotics.
The BEST award competition is sponsored by colleges across Alabama in conjunction with corporations such as Mercedes and Alabama Power, which donate time and materials for the advancement of education in engineering and robotics.
The mission is to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through participation in this science and engineering-based robotics competition.
There are five categories to the competition: robot performance, engineering notebook, display booth and interviews, marketing presentation, and spirit and sportsmanship.
– Submitted by Jill Spero.