Robotics with Mrs. Anderson
The jewel of our STEM program is our robotics club that meets twice each week for students in 5th through 8th grades. KNS, which stands for Knights Never Surrender, began by building underwater ROVs as part of the MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) program. Students don’t just assemble an ROV, they solder the circuit board, design the frame using CAD, and build it. This past year, the team decided to design a T-shaped ROV. After thinking about the weight distribution while picking up items during competition, they decided to completely redesign the ROV into a cube shape.
If you ask the students, they will tell you that the purpose of KNS is to build robots. While this is true, it is not the main purpose. Little do they know that the main purpose of the robotics program is to build a tech-savvy workforce from the ground up. The Appalachian region is not known for its technologically advanced schools or students. We are trying to change that by showing students that there is more to technology than video games or posting on Instagram. By participating in robotics competitions, our students learn to work together as a team, troubleshoot problems and come up with workable solutions. They give oral presentations and keep track of the expenses in a spreadsheet.
This past year, KNS participated in the 2022 Regional MATE Competition. Unfortunately, their ROV had a leak in the wiring, causing it to lose power during the competition. That didn’t stop them. Even though they knew they didn’t place, they took the opportunity to learn how to make their ROV better. Within one hour during lunch, they took apart their ROV, redesigned it, and reassembled it. This was done while high school and college students watched in amazement. They were able to make their machine lighter and more powerful. Even though they could not use the new and improved ROV to compete, they didn’t give up. They didn’t surrender! This is what KNS is all about!