Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kids! of the Month – November 1999 – Students of Bob Jones High School

This month, Amazing Kids! is proud to feature the amazing engineering work of the students from Bob Jones High School and Johnson Elementary in Madison, Alabama.

Check out the amazing robots built by these aspiring engineers!

Check out the amazing robots built by these aspiring engineers!

These amazing students actually built their very own robots, with the help of some very special mentors, the amazing engineers at DaimlerChrysler Electronics in Huntsville, Alabama!

Students from Bob Jones High School Form a Robotics Team

What a breathtaking adventure! Imagine the challenge of building your own robot, designing your own plans, and using 3-D computer graphics to record your journey! Sounds like a high-tech project for brilliant professional engineers? Guess again! This amazing opportunity is also available for students!

Some amazing high school students from Bob Jones High School in Madison, Alabama, partnered with mentor engineers from DaimlerChrysler Electronics in Huntsville, Alabama, to form a robotics team as part of the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) program (http://www.usfirst.org).

#34 – The Bob Jones High DaimlerChrysler Robot!

#34 – The Bob Jones High DaimlerChrysler Robot!

About FIRST Program

Founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen, the mission of US FIRST was to encourage students in America to get involved in the exciting fields of engineering and technology. The annual robotics competition was inspired by an engineering design course at Massachusetts Institute of Technology created by Professor Woodie Flowers.

The purpose of the robot competition is to give students opportunities to interact with engineers so they can start to see the connection between their learning in the classroom, and the real world. By working closely together, both the students and the engineers can benefit. In addition to the robot competition, two other awards are given to students—an Autodesk computer graphic award and the Chairman’s Award that is given for the best documentation of the entire six-week process.

Students who compete become involved in a wide range of activities which give them exposure to some of the realities of the working world. The program is backed by the professional association ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers).

Some Amazing Future Engineers

With only 6 weeks to build an actual working robot, the students and mentors on this amazing team had a big goal to accomplish! To start, they were given a box of parts and a specific task for the robot to accomplish. The students, teachers, and engineers on the team met together for some brainstorming strategies.

The Amazing Bob Jones High/DaimlerChrysler Team!

The Amazing Bob Jones High/DaimlerChrysler Team!

Talk about “hands-on” experience, and seeing how their work fits into the real-world!  Students had to use every skill they have learned in physics, mathematics, electricity, welding, graphics, programming, and mechanics to “out-power” their opponent robots. Ingenuity, creativity, and perseverance—students must possess them all.

Participants in the 1999 Competition in Orlando, Florida

Participants in the 1999 Competition in Orlando, Florida

The FIRST program originated with the purpose of generating excitement about science, math, and technology, and at least in the eyes of Bob Jones High School and Johnson Elementary students they have succeeded!  The students, who were immersed into the engineering world, emerged with a better understanding of possible technical careers. The teachers benefitted by being exposed to the needs of the business world, and by gaining a renewed interest in encouraging students to develop problem-solving skills.

Discussing the "Plan" before the competition...

Discussing the “Plan” before the competition…

The amazing students at Bob Jones High School have even become mentors themselves!  This year, in addition to entering their robot in regional and national competitions, they have taken on the enormous task of coordinating a state FIRST LEGO League competition!  Several area teams (and even teams from Florida and Virginia) of elementary and middle schools, including Johnson Elementary, will test their LEGO robots in a state contest hosted by the Bob Jones High School students at the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center on December 4, 1999.

The Amazing Girls from the Bob Jones High Team!

The Amazing Girls from the Bob Jones High Team!

These dedicated high school students have volunteered countless hours of their time after school for several weeks to provide guidance to some of the junior robotics teams and to plan the Alabama competition.  Way to go, team!

Links

For more information about the FIRST Robotics Competition, the FIRST LEGO League, or Bob Jones High School, visit the following web sites.  Who knows?  Maybe someday you’ll build a robot too!

FIRST Robotics Competition:  http://www.usfirst.org

FIRST LEGO League: http://www.legomindstorms.com/fll/

Bob Jones High School: http://bjhs.madisoncity.k12.al.us

Home Pages by other FIRST Competition Teams:  http://www.usfirst.org/teampages.html

List of Teams in the 1999 FIRST Robotics Competition: http://www.usfirst.org/1999comp/teamlist.html

Read about FIRST Place, an exciting new science and technology facility created by FIRST, in Manchester, New Hampshire: http://www.usfirst.org/FIRSTPlace/

Related Amazing Links

Below is the list of engineering and robotics websites, as recommended by the FIRST website: