On May 16, The Bush School hosted four other area middle schools for the second annual Robotics Collaborative event. Held from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., the interscholastic event convened thirty-six students around a challenge to solve problems at a nuclear power facility that included fuel transport, containment structure integrity, and employee safety. Three separate simulation tables accommodated two teams each and required different schools to work together to execute the challenges.
Participating teachers acted as scorekeepers, and final scores were tallied as one collaborative sum on the main scoreboard. The teams had three chances to iterate their designs and coding before doing a timed round, and each iteration proved better than the last. The last few seconds of the final round featured an epic moment for the Bush team where their marble-activated emergency alert trigger barely missed its mark, but the robot’s tire ran over the alert button, earning points to help the final score beat both previous rounds. As well as coaching Bush’s participating Robotics Club, middle school Technology teacher Don Fitz-Roy designed both the simulation tabletop mats and the mission handbook for this year’s Robotics Collaborative. Since two of the other participating schools also have upper school divisions, Bush is in conversation about how to structure an additional Robotics Collaborative challenge next year for high school students.