Gladstone's middle school robotics team The Gearheads! We are big fans. This club was started only a few years ago. Shawn and his wife Kelly Coach the team, and teach so much more then robotics. Public speaking, problem solving, gracious professionalism, cooperative team building, and marvelous outreach into the community. I could go on and on... but suffice to say, it is an amazing group.
This year we plan to have the team visit us at the start of the year. They will talk to us about the team, and about their E-recycling efforts (this is one way they raise funds to run their club). They'll then present us with items to disassemble and give us guidance on how to best do this.
The plan is that we will spend time each week, presenting this as a play option. The items brought to us will be safe to handle, and the play will be closely supervised. We will then exchange the disassembled pieces for new items to be disassembled as we finish. In this way we are aiding in the E-Recling efforts, while also learning about machines, using our fine motor skills, and having fun.
In addition to the E-Recycling collaboration, the team will visit us again mid year to present to us, their robots. The first part of the year, for the Gearheads is time spent, among other things, building their robots for competition. They will bring the robots to visit us, to practice their presenting and speaking. We will practice our good listening skills.
The final most awesome part of this connection is the competition which takes place after the first of the year, in February. We will invite parents and our larger community to join us in cheering on the Gearheads at competition. The competitions themselves are really geared for fun. Banners, Flags, crazy costumes... all welcome.
Not to be confused with Battle-bots, these events are a fierce competition to find original and creative innovations to overcome obstacles and challenges faced on and off the field. The challenges change year to year, never to repeat, always unique and challenging.