Struthers robotics class takes on the world
STRUTHERS — In a 12-by-12-foot ring, a rectangular, treaded robot zipped around the floor, its mechanical arm opening and closing around the edges of yellow cones scattered about the enclosure.
The robot was controlled by one of 16 Struthers High School students enrolled in the school’s robotics program, and they were practicing for an upcoming competition.
Mike Donatelli, an autocad and robotics teacher at Struthers High School who leads the class, said the program incorporates programming, fabrication and critical thinking, and gives the students a fun and practical outlet for testing the skills they’ve acquired.
“We’re participating in a program called the Vex Robotics Competition, which is actually a worldwide competition. We just had our first competition, so we took six robots in to compete. Now we’re working to improve their times,” Donatelli said. “On top of the technical skills they learn, the process of designing and building and improving the robots helps develop the students’ teamwork and problem solving skills.”
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