Wohbots bwing howiday spiwit
December 21, 2023
Last Friday, students at Wahkiakum School District spent the afternoon showing off what they've learned in robotics at the Wahkiakum Wohbot Woundup, an event that started a few years ago, but which was interrupted by the pandemic.
Teachers, Washington State University's Wahkiakum County Extension, 4-H Liaison Jessica Vik, WSD Tech Advisor Ron Wright, retired school board director Paula Culbertson, and Mecha Mule Mentor Mark Sutton were all involved in facilitating the event.
Wright and Sutton got fully into their role as judges, donning robes and white barrister wigs.
Over the hours, classes moved in and out of the John C. Thomas Middle School gym, demonstrating the programming they'd written for their robots, showing off their moves, hard work translating into play. Some robots delivered packages for Christmas, drove down an imaginary Main Street at the North Pole, or across a field with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Some robots were decorated for the season with trees, Santa, or reindeer.
"Their energy and excitement brought giggles from the younger students who have never seen robots this big move before and cheers from the older students as battle bots duked it out," Vik wrote in the Mecha Mules newsletter.
The Robo Rascals 4-H Club shared their latest projects, which included learning about circuits while making their own light-up cards, and constructing and handpainting ornaments using a program called Tinkercad.
Older students got an opportunity to interact with younger students, teaching them what they've learned about robots and how they work, and the little ones even got an opportunity to drive the more sophisticated robots.
"All students K-12 did a great job and it was a fun way to spend the last full Friday before Christmas Break," Vik wrote. "In reality, these students demonstrated how to engineer and code, useful skills that can be used in their future."