Robotics club formed at OLOL
COAL TOWNSHIP - Students at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School are expanding their knowledge of modern technology with the formation of a robotics club.
The club consists of 28 students in grades seven through 12 who meet two hours a week to build and program a robot that will eventually be able to perform various tasks.
Advisers Kelly McCarthy and Doug Rubendall said students will be taught two programming languages: LabVIEW, a text-based version, and Visual Basic, a drag-and-drop version.
Students have met only twice, but have already built robots and are working on how to program using Visual Basic, the easiest of the programs, according to McCarthy.
"So far, so good," she said. "Almost everyone has a robot and they are now working on programming."
Students used LEGONXT Minestorms to build the robots that stand on two wheels and are about the length of a textbook. The robot came packaged like any other LEGO - in pieces. Once the robot was built, a device programmed with commands was attached to the top of it. Students will have the opportunity to build different robots as their understanding of programming increases.
"The goal of the club is for students to participate in a competition and to learn how to program and design," McCarthy said.
Groups of four to five students from Lourdes will participate at a competition in April at Penn State Brandywine, near Philadelphia.
Students will be assigned a task and will be graded on the speed of their programming skills and how well their robot completes the task, McCarthy said.