March 28, 2017
Robotics and Programming Club Makes Debut at PACS
During the hustle and bustle of afternoon activities, while many Prince Avenue Christian School students are making their way to rehearsals and team practices, there is a unique group of 5th and 6th graders gathering in the computer lab to participate in the new Robotics and Programming Club.
To the observer, the Robotics and Programming Club might look like kids playing with a building set, but there is much more to the process than meets the eye. Each robot has a computer memory that can be programmed to obey certain commands in specific successions. Students are constantly challenged through trial and error to meet different programming goals.
“We try to get the students thinking,” explains Academic Dean Kendall Eley. “They are able to use different methods to reach the same goal, so they are using analytical and problem solving skills. We do not make it easy for them.”
It is this very aspect of the club that the students embrace. Sixth grader Griffin Hewett says, “I like how it challenges your brain to do stuff. When you finish, you really feel like you have accomplished something.”
Middle School Principal Daniel Head emphasizes the rewards that are evident as the students seek to problem solve. “It is fun to see the kids overcome frustrations and then succeed. We keep a star chart, and when a certain task is accomplished, the students can keep track of what all they have done.”
Fifth grader Sage Milner points out that the club is helping those students who might not have an interest in athletics or fine arts to find their niche in after school activities. “I like it because it helps people who really love electronics have something to do after school.”
Mr. Eley is very pleased with how well the new club has been received. “Hopefully within a couple of years we will be ready to take the Robotics and Programming Club to the next level. Our long-term goal is team competition.”
For now, the club members are content to meet the challenges set for their robots each Tuesday and Thursday and celebrate each accomplishment along the way.
Camp Ward works to program his robot. Kendall Eley works with Sage Milner to solve a problem.
Jack Carmean displays his robot after testing it.