St. Louis College Prep middle school scholars are literally building their future through the school’s Robotics Club.
The club, sponsored by St. Louis University High School’s Clavius Project, encourages scholars to explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education while assembling, and then controlling, a FIRST FLL Lego Mindstorm EV3 robot.
“The Clavius Project comes in to schools like yours and helps establish a robotics program,” founder Jeff Pitts told scholars in the club last week, noting that his organization had begun its partnership with St. Louis College Prep last spring. “We are going to teach you about robotics, we are going to teach you how to program different behaviors with the robots, and then in January you will be able to participate in the Clavius Project Jamboree at St. Louis University High School.”
Pitts said the jamboree would allow students to show off how they had figured out how to deal with a variety of robotics challenges during the fall. The event will also give the middle school scholars a chance to see what high school robotics teams from through out the region are doing.
“We will have a mini-robotics tournament with a variety of high schools where you will be able to see the robots they built from scratch,” said Pitts. “They bend metal, they weld metal, they cut metal to create their robots and do some really neat things with robotics.”
Successful participation in St. Louis College Prep’s robotics club also qualifies scholars to participate in a number of summer academies at Ranken Technical College, according to Pitts who will become the chairman of the college’s Board of Trustees in January.
“Because you are participating in this club, you will all be Clavius Scholars and if you want to attend one of those academies, we will give you a scholarship for that,” he told the scholars.
Pitts said the club could focus on a variety of projects after the January jamboree.
“We are soon going to be introducing a platform for robotics where we use Robot C,” he said. “Through that you will learn how to code.
“For those of you who will be matriculating into high school here at St. Louis College Prep, we also hope to help the high school start up its own robotics team where you will be working with a higher level of robotics,” he added.
But for now, scholars are content to work on building the robots they will be working with all fall.
The robotics club meets every Thursday at St. Louis College Prep.