Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 20, 2013

NSU’s robotics team shines at competition

TAHLEQUAH — To say the Education Edubots at Northeastern State University began as underdogs is an understatement.

They were an all-female team of four teacher candidates in a college world championship robotics competition against multi-membered teams like the PR Institute of Robotics in Puerto Rico, the New York Institute of Technology, North American Robotics in Philadelphia, and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation in Saudi Arabia, to name a few.

The 2013 VEX Robotics College Challenge World Championship held in Anaheim, Calif., two months ago was a gathering of top robotics teams from around the globe that pitted the future’s best scientists and engineers against one another in designing and constructing robots on site to accomplish tasks like placing a bean bag in a goal.

The Northeastern State University College of Education Edubots team of Wilburton junior Laura Myers, Cushing junior Megan Bloom, Westville junior Tandy Morris and Afton junior Savanna Atchison came together as a collaborating group in January. They began constructing their first robot and qualified for the Vex Robotics championship in February, and by the April event, had earned the competition’s Judges’ Trophy while finishing 44th in a field of 52 teams.

Aside from being the only education majors in the competition, NSU’s  Edubots team was facing teams that included 15 or more members made up of male and female engineering or science majors who played specific roles, said Myers.

“This was our way, as teacher education majors, to stand up and let the world know that we’re not afraid of a challenge. Robotics is something education majors don’t normally do. We stepped outside of our comfort zone,” said Myers. “It was a great way to gain experience and knowledge. That experience will be something we can take back to our classrooms to teach students why it’s important to experience new risks and learn new things.”

The NSU Robotics in Education program was started in November 2012, and the College of Education curriculum will make it possible for teacher candidates to learn how they can apply robotics in the classroom. The NSU College of Education robotics students will visit area schools to observe the use of robot technology in classrooms and study how it can be incorporated into daily lesson planning.

Educational Foundation Leadership Instructor and Faculty Adviser Barbara Fuller said the program collaborated with the Cherokee Nation and Sequoyah High School Robotics Instructor Dr. Calvin Cole to get the Edubots team up and running.

“We’re always looking for new ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. It’s really has the students’ interests,” said Fuller.

“We made the goal to put this into our program. This fall, every single teacher candidate is going to graduate knowing how to implement robotics into their classroom, no matter what they’re teaching.”

The NSU Edubots team qualified for the international competition at the VEX Robotics Regional event hosted by Sequoyah Schools. Fuller said the inclusion of robotics in a classroom will foster critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and leadership. Robotics presents a learning experience that will benefit everyone.

“When you think about robotics, you do think about mathematics, and you do think about engineering. It’s easy to forget, but if you look at robotics in the right light, you can see that everyone can do it. It’s easy to be intimidated by it,” said Fuller.

“One of the greatest things that came out this experience was everyone on the team has a different major, and they all found a way to work robotics into their current focus of study. It’s just a testament that it’s not just about engineering or mathematics. It’s really about learning to use those critical thinking and problem solving skills. Anybody can do it.”

Atchison said the team visited a group of students at Heritage Elementary to introduce robotics to the kids, and the results were eye-opening. The students were placed on teams, given tools, and had two working robots and two broken robots to use for the hands-on learning experience. The goal was to fix the broken robots.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” said Atchison.

“We wanted to see if the kids could use critical-thinking skills to figure out how to fix the problem It was amazing to see the difference in how our minds work in seeing a way to solve a problem and seeing how their minds work. Within the hour, they had fixed the problem.

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ts-Tax-free-main.jpg Shopper's delight

    Tax-free weekend coming up Aug. 1-3, just in time for back-to-school savings

    Attention, shoppers: Oklahoma’s Tax-Free Weekend is coming up, beginning at 12:01 a.m., Friday, Aug. 1.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • ballard-amanda.jpg Woman pleads no contest to molestation

    A Tahlequah woman accused of having more than 20 sexual encounters with a 13-year-old boy has pleaded no contest in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence, though 10 years have been suspended.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-arch-society.jpg Archaeologist: Spiro Mounds may have been ancient music haven

    People gathered from across the country at the “center of the universe,” bringing with them different styles of music and instruments, each thought to have its own power and importance.
    This could be the description of a modern music festival, but to Jim Rees, it is a picture of the Spiro Mounds 1,000 years before Columbus came to the Americas.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two headed for trial for conspiracy to kill judge and others

    Two of the four people accused of conspiring to kill a Cherokee County judge and several other targets were bound over for trial Friday following a preliminary hearing in Tahlequah.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman accused in embezzlement sought for arrest

    Court officials have issued a bench warrant for a woman who previously pleaded to embezzling more than $40,000 while she worked for Tahlequah attorney Park Medearis.

    July 28, 2014

  • CN, UKB battle over trust land application

    Two Tahlequah-based tribes presented oral arguments Friday in a protracted fight over a land-in-trust application.

    Over the course of five hours, attorneys for the Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation Entertainment and the Department of the Interior made their cases before Northern District Judge Gregory Frizzell in a hearing that was originally scheduled for February.

     

    July 25, 2014

  • ts-NSU-Main-1-a.jpg No NSU pool, for now

    NSU experiencing delays in fitness center construction

    Earlier this month, Northeastern State University announced it is experiencing delays in the renovation of its fitness center and pool.
    The facility was officially shuttered Sept. 17, 2012, and at the time, the projected completion date for renovation was this fall.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • jn-Suspect-1.jpg Officials: Images of suspects may help nab church burglars

    Cherokee County investigators hope surveillance footage captured around the Crescent Valley Baptist Church in Woodall helps lead to the suspects accused of breaking into the complex and setting fire to one building this week.
    According to Undersheriff Jason Chennault, cameras captured footage of two suspects on bicycles early Tuesday morning, July 22.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw-movie-night.jpg Local library hosts family movie night

    Nova Foreman and her two daughters were about to leave the Tahlequah Public Library Thursday, when they saw the Family Movie Night flyer.
    The three decided to stay and enjoy a movie they had not yet seen at the free, theater-like event.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-Keys.jpg Grant to fund stepped-up Keys PE program

    Kair Ridenhour’s new office is filled with pedometers.
    Ridenhour officially started his new position as assistant elementary principal at Keys Public Schools on July 1.
    But his other role at the school – that of physical education project coordinator – prompted the influx of pedometers.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Stocks