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-Trail-show-1.jpg Jackson takes prize

    Cherokee Heritage Center Museum Curator Mickel Yantz kicked off his 10th anniversary at the venue with the opening of the 43rd annual Trail of Tears Art Show this past Friday.
    “The Trail of Tears show was my first exhibit opening when I arrived 10 years ago,” said Yantz. “Since that time, the show has changed so dramatically; we’ve added so many new artists, and the art work has excelled over time. It’s like Christmas for me.”
    Yantz said he was exceptionally pleased with the opening reception.
    “We had a fantastic turnout,” said Yantz. “We had a lot of fun and sold some artwork, which is great for opening night.”
    The exhibit is on display at the Cherokee Heritage Center through May 26. This year’s show features 130 pieces of art spanning eight different categories, including basketry, graphics, jewelry, miniature, painting, pottery and sculpture.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • churchguy.jpg Some NSU students find Church of Monett offensive

    They turn heads every time they show up on campus, and some students at Northeastern State University are offended by their presence.
    The Church of Monett, Mo., has made periodic trips to Tahlequah to stage quiet demonstrations in public campus spaces in recent years. They carry signs that read, “Wives, Obey your Husbands,”; “To be Married to the divorced is Adultery”; and “Don’t be deceived: fornicators homosexuals idolaters adulterers thieves drunkards - shall not inherit God’s Kingdom.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teen sent to hospital after being struck by tractor-trailer

    An 18-year-old Tahlequah man was struck by a tractor-trailer early Tuesday morning on the State Highway 51 bypass near Mimosa Lane.
    Tahlequah Police Capt. Tom Jones said officers responded to the scene at about 5:40 a.m., when Sage Sohns was found injured and lying in the road. A medical helicopter responded to the scene to transport Sohns to a Tulsa hospital, where he was being treated for a closed-head injury, police said.

    April 16, 2014

  • TPS board hears architect presentations for cafeteria

    Members of the Tahlequah Public Schools Board of Education heard from four architectural firms seeking a contract for construction at Cherokee Elementary School.
    TPS plans to build a cafeteria-auditorium and a music room with a stage, which may also serve as a safe room during storms.

    April 16, 2014

  • Briggs.jpg Local man hit with assault, burglary charges

    Prosecutors have formally charged a Tahlequah man accused of breaking into a motel room, tying a rope around a man’s neck and stabbing him repeatedly with a syringe.
    Jimmy Dale Briggs Jr., 33, is charged with first-degree burglary, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and two counts of threatening to perform an act of violence.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boy whose mom scolded deputies in trouble again

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 15-year-old theft suspect Monday night after he allegedly assaulted his brother.
    Deputy Kim Novak said authorities were dispatched to a home and ultimately took the teen into custody. While there, they also discovered items that had been reported stolen, including a bed and several tools.
    Novak said the teen is the same boy who has previously been found to be in possession of stolen items.

    April 16, 2014

  • plane-crash-1-a.jpg Plane crash victims recovering

    Two Arkansas men remained in a Tulsa hospital Monday after the plane they were flying crashed into a wooded area in Cookson.
    According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the 1946 Ercoupe 415 crashed under “unknown circumstances” about a mile from the Tenkiller Air Park in Cookson Saturday morning.
    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 75-year-old John McCreary and 85-year-old Albert Demarco Jr., both of Ozark, Ark., were flown from Cookson to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • walker-terrance.jpg Man taken for blood sample confuses hospital with hotel

    Tahlequah police say an Austin, Texas, man stopped Saturday mistook a local hospital for a hotel when he was taken to have his blood drawn.
    Officer Cory Keele’s affidavit says 20-year-old Terrance Walker was driving south on Muskogee Avenue at about 2 a.m. Saturday, swerving from one line to another.
    Keele tried to stop the car near Muskogee and Chickasaw, and Walker eventually slowed to a stop near South Street.
    Walker opened the car door as Keele approached. The officer said Walker had dilated pupils.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ennis-scottie.jpg Knife-cutting incident lands man in jail

    A Tahlequah man jailed for allegedly cutting a woman with a kitchen knife was released on a recognizance bond Monday.
    Scottie Lee Ennis, 42, was arrested after Officer Austin Yates was sent to Tahlequah City Hospital late Friday night.
    There, Yates spoke with Jennifer Pennell, who had apparently suffered a stab wound to her arm.
    Pennell told Yates she and her husband, Ennis, had gone to Dewain’s Place earlier in the evening, and while at the bar, a man bought her a drink.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • hawley-jeremy.jpg Tahlequah man bonds out after arrest for assault

    A 22-year-old Tahlequah man bonded out of jail Monday after his weekend arrest on domestic assault charges.
    Jeremy Hawley was booked into jail Sunday for domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor and interfering with a 911 call.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing Raw: Blast at Tennessee Ammunition Plant Kills 1 Hoax Bomb Raises Anxiety in Boston Egypt Clamps Down on Mosques to Control Message After Fukushima, Japan Eyes Solar Power New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Ex-California City Leader Gets 12 Year Sentence Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?
Stocks