The knowledge economy continues to grow around the world. Industries like robotics require associates, managers and executive leaders to possess the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information.
Analytical thinking, problem-solving and related skills are typically gained through education in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). STEM education provides students the foundation for success throughout their careers.
Samtec proudly supports a number of STEM-based programs to develop the next generation of innovators, educators, researchers, leaders and technologists. A number of local, national and international events and competitions use student-design robotics as a fun and interesting path to STEM learning.
FIRST Robotics Competition
The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) challenges mentor-led student-based teams to create industrial-sized robots in a competition called “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.” Teams are provided the following: a common kit of parts, limited resources, strict design rules and a grueling six-week time limit.
The goal? Teams of students must raise funds, “brand” their team, learn to work together, and ultimately develop a life-sized robot to play a difficult field game against intense competitors. The best of the best reach the championship round with bragging rights for the next year!
Samtec partnered with Analog Devices (ADI) by providing standard flexible stacking solutions to mate ADI sensor boards to FRC computing platform. Student-led teams could control and monitor robotic motion during the FRC competitions.
VEX Robotics World Championship
The VEX Robotics World Championship is a week-long competitive robotics event. It brings together more than 1,400 teams, sponsors, and volunteers to celebrate young students’ achievement in STEM. The competition aims to show that robotics is a universal language. Robotics also has the power to change lives and culture for the greater good.
Students in various divisions spend their year using STEM skills designing robots to play an engineering challenge game. Samtec and Sager Electronics have partnered with The Maker Mobile to educate and inspire VEX attendees to create and build.
As a regional education program, Maker Mobile showcases standard manufacturing equipment in a fun and engaging way. It also offers a hands-on learning environment with easy access to 3D printers, laser cutter, a CNC machine, vinyl cutters and more.
RoboRumble Regional Robotics Tournament
The annual RoboRumble Regional Robotic Tournament is a regional competition fostering STEM-education in the Louisville, KY area. It comprises four areas of competition for students in various grades.
- RCX Robotics Challenge eXtreme involves teams programming their LEGO NXT/EV3 robot to solve defined challenges within a specific time.
- Robotics Use encourages building a robot to solve a real-world problem. The teams will describe how their robot solves the problem and are judged based on a defined rubric. (Example: Need to know when someone leaves your classroom? Design a robot to chime when someone walks out the door.)
- Sumo Bot is a double-elimination tournament where two robots try to remove or disable each other while staying on a raised circular ring.
- Live Programming involves on-the-spot programming. Teams are given several tasks the day of the competition. They have two hours to build and program their robot to successfully complete one or both of the tasks.