"It's a good bot," said Brennan, 11, a member of the First Lego League Team at
Sure, it's a toy and it operates on a tabletop where the downed trees are only inches tall and the power lines are made of plastic. But the lessons learned in its creation are preparing the students at StarPoint -- a laboratory school at
The Tuesday through Saturday series of activities in the annual Engineers Week is designed to get kids excited about classes that lead to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, said
"For about three years we've wanted to have students teach other students," Herndon said. "This is our first year to work with Nolan and StarPoint, giving them an opportunity to reach out to the community and share their expertise in robotics."
That will include letting children play with some of the robots, said Dr.
"It's the hardest fun you'll ever have," Scheer said.
Nolan's Robo Vikes spend many hours -- in addition to doing their school work -- preparing robots for competitions, sometimes until midnight, Scheer said.
"They do it because they love it," he said.
Brennan and his fellow StarPoint robot builders also are pumped about Engineers Week.
"We get to teach people about robotics," he said. "We might inspire them to go into this. We need more people to do that because there are not enough engineers and scientists."
If engineering and science aren't their destinies, perhaps students will go for mathematics or technology, said StarPoint student
"This will help people understand physics and programming," Connelly said. "Many people don't like physics because it's a harder class. I like the concept of it. It makes me want to learn about how things happen."
The cadre of kids and their robots will be at the
Together they'll build some motors and some machines to use them. They'll take apart electronic equipment to see what's inside. They'll fly a fighter jet simulator or create a plane of their own, and challenge themselves to build the tallest and/or strongest structures.
Around every corner kids will discover engineers doing something interesting, something fascinating, something fun, Scheer said.
That's all it takes to get children to learn, he said: "Find something they're excited about, throw open the door and they'll dive into it."
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