GMS Robotics Club gears up for competition with observation trip

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The Gloversville Middle School Robotics Club, which is comprised of 20 seventh- and eighth-graders, took a trip to SUNY Albany Polytechnic School to observe a FIRST LEGO League robotics competition to help them get ready to compete next year.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-for-profit organization working to improve STEM education that has partnered with LEGO to create a robotics competition for students in fourth- through eighth-grade. Guided by two or more adult coaches, FIRST LEGO League teams with up to 10 members research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc. and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS and then compete on a table-top playing field.

The Jan. 26 event brought students from across the region to compete.

The GMS Robotics Club is gearing up to take part in this competition in January of 2020. Technology teacher Maria Kotsakis is the master coach, and teaching assistant Mrs. Oare and parents April and John Meyer are serving as volunteer coaches.

Kotsakis said the coaches are working with students this year to give them the opportunity to learn and understand the software and equipment to be ready for the competition.

“The trip was an invaluable experience for our team,” she said. “We now know what to expect during the event, and we had the chance to get ideas to apply to our robot to be able to do well at next year’s competition.”

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