WARSAW — Warsaw Community Schools hosted the fourth annual elementary robotics showcase on Saturday, March 23, at the Warsaw Area Career Center gym.
Each year, the event offers students from all eight WCS elementary schools the ability to showcase their knowledge and skills with robotics and programming in front of an audience of their families and friends, according to a news release from the school district.
This year’s event featured participation from more than 200 students. These students formed 38 teams for the capture the flag programming game and 34 teams for the drag racing engineering game.
The event was made possible with the support of 46 volunteers from WCS, Zimmer Biomet and the community. Of the 43 volunteers, 33 were Zimmer Biomet employees and their families.
Over 600 families and community members are estimated to have attended throughout the two-hour event.
The showcase was made possible through a committed partnership with Zimmer Biomet. The initial donation from Zimmer Biomet provided every fourth, fifth and sixth- grade student in all elementary schools STEM opportunities using Lego EV3 robots. This annual event continues to expand the district’s offerings of STEM education throughout all of Warsaw Community Schools. This expansion would not be possible without local partners such as Zimmer Biomet, Meijer, Owens, Walmart, Martin’s Supermarket and Rise & Roll Bakery.
The showcase involved two games. The first was an engineering challenge where teams created a drag racer which would race for the fastest times down a 5-foot, 10-foot and 15-foot track. The second was a programming challenge where teams strategically earned points in a capture the flag game. Robots competed on an individual board where the objective was to get a personal high score, and robots played on an ally board to see which team could score the highest, the release said.
Brock Rhodes, a teacher at Claypool Elementary stated, “The elementary robotics showcase is a great opportunity to work with students outside of a traditional learning environment. It is amazing to see what these young engineers and programmers can do. There has never been a challenge that the students at Claypool haven’t been able to solve. They use a wide range of knowledge and skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.”
“Robotics makes me think on a whole new level and that challenges both me and my teammates to work together to complete the tasks,” said Mattias Niebbia, a sixth-grade student at Lincoln Elementary. The purpose of this showcase is to inspire and equip students in STEM disciplines that open up future possibilities.
Sixteen coaches, two from each elementary school, attended the event.