The Robotics Team at Dublin School has been growing steadily since its inception in 2010. This group of students works together on the year long challenge of building a robot from scratch and programming it to perform a specific task for the FIRST Robotics Competition. The entire spectrum of technology is utilized. This includes activities like designing, implementing, engineering, programming and marketing the robot. The Robotics Team attracts a diverse group of students, each of whom brings a different specialty to the team, including problem-solving, metal working, programming, writing, business and, even, art.
We have some big news: Not only is the robotics team growing this year, but we are also running the team wholly within Dublin School. If you are a returning fan, look for FIRST Team 1786.
The Bot Cave has also had a face lift. We have added a new, larger build space in the basement of Lehmann, complete with a small machine shop. In the machine shop we have a new CAD computer, metal lathe, drill press, and chop saw, as well as a full panoply of hand tools. All of these great new things will allow us to better accomplish the goals of the program.
FIRST Robotics is more than just a sport for these students. As a teacher, I have always preferred to use a “learn-by-doing” pedagogy. I strive to give students authentic problems with real, achievable goals, a framework of time and project management, and access to expert advice. FRC fits this pedagogy more perfectly than any academic course because of the scope of the project and the breadth of content areas it touches.
The ultimate goal of FIRST Robotics is, of course, to produce a machine capable of performing some set of tasks efficiently and reliably with only six weeks of prep time. Doing so requires students to access the skill sets of physics, mathematics, engineering, and computer science. But there is more to FRC than just this. Our students must also maintain a public website, write essays, craft grants, make videos to present to a panel of professional engineers, design promotional materials, and organize groups within the team. Additionally, students learn real skills in the machine shop, making parts from raw materials, designing parts in Solidworks (a professional computer aided design software) and participate in the engineering design process mentored by professional engineers.