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Intermediate and high school students from six schools came together at Intermediate East June 5 for an Interscholastic STEAM Robotics Competition, the first of its kind for the district.

June 6, 2019-- This year Toms River Intermediate Schools developed and piloted a robotics class during academic activity through Title IV funding. The class began with safety and an introduction to robotics followed by design challenges initially in 2D on paper and in CAD programs, progressing to 3D building and programming, and finally reflecting and reinventing. Outreach and community building through the maker mindset was integrated throughout.

Yesterday, with funding from the Office of Naval Research TR:TechReady Grant, teams participated in a culminating sharing and scrimmage event. First Technology Challenge Robotics Teams from each high school joined intermediate students as mentors and shared their experiences as part of their outreach program. They helped intermediate students refine their code, repair downed robots, and enhance their designs, while making new connections.

Intermediate students had two distinct challenges that were scored, and had a fun, high-school-robotics-team-designed obstacle course to navigate during their down time. The first challenge was to pre-program their robot to move from a specific spot on the colorful tiles, deposit a ball in a large cylinder, and navigate to a new spot across the playing field. This is the most difficult part of the challenge, and every team was able to successfully program their robots to work autonomously. This was followed by a conversion to the drive mode. Students then worked with their teams to use a remote control to transfer different color balls to different sides of the game field.

The day ended with awards given out by the high school robotics teams recognizing intermediate teams and individuals for everything from Artistry (putting the A in STEAM) to Persistence in the Face of Adversity, Most Creative Coder, and more. Fun was had by all!

TRRS secondary students interested in learning more about coding are encouraged to visit www.trschools.com/curriculum/techready and apply to participate in one of the district’s TR:TechReady Coding Camps.

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