LINTON, Ind. (WTHI) – Students at Linton-Stockton Middle School are gaining skills in science, technology, engineering and math through building robots.
The program started three years ago when Linton-Stockton STEM teacher Tiffany Todd received a free robotics kit from VEX IQ.
Now, the school has eight robots and 50 students in the program.
Preston Snyder is a fifth-grade student at Linton-Stockton Middle School.
This is his second year participating in the program.
"I like driving it around and stuff, and I also like building it,” Snyder said.
Instructors compare the program to lego robots.
Students build the robot from scratch, and as the semester goes on, they continue to modify and code.
"We have to plug in all the wires and put the motor in to move this in and out, and then we use the controller like this, and we drive it, and it makes it move,” Snyder said.
Preparation will pay off in January when students get to put their robots to the test in a competition at the school.
The top winners will move on to the state robotics competition at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"With about 40 teams, each one of our smaller teams will get to compete eight times that day…it's kind of like a giant bracket almost, there's a program that VEX gives you that you plug all of your programs into," Todd said.
Last year, the group placed in the top 11. They hope to do even better this year.
"You get points, and you can also code it to move to pick up the obstacles and get points with it as well,” Snyder said.
Students are gaining skills beyond the classroom.
"There's not a parent there telling them what to do, so it takes that self-drive and education for them to be able to compete well," Todd said.
Fifth-grade student Ellie Mae enjoys the teamwork aspect of the competition.
"You don't like go against the other person, you work with them to do it, so it's not like stressful that you're going to do terrible, cause the other person does it with you," Mae said.
Don't let these fifth graders fool you, they are working hard to take their skills all the way to the top.
The competition is set for January 18, 2020 at Linton-Stockton Middle School.