Robotics challenge sparks interest in STEM at STCC

Hampden County

Dozens of STCC students participated in the 2019 Robotics Challenge on Wednesday.

Twelve teams started with a box full of metal pieces, screws, and wires, and ended with a fully-functional robot. Those robots were then put to the test in a timed obstacle course.

One student told 22News he valued the hands-on experience.

“It was nice to see a robot come together,” Raul Gomez said. “With all the wiring, how it runs, with the motors coming together with the tires, and how if you wire something wrong it’s not going to run properly.”

The challenge was sponsored by STCC’s STEM Starter Academy and the Massachusetts National Guard. 

Dean of STCC’s School of Science & Engineering Richard Dickerman told 22News the purpose of the STEM Starter Academy is to get students interested in STEM.

“The robotics competition is a chance for students to get up here, try something STEM-related and have a great time,” Dickerman said.

For one student at the competition, his interest in the STEM field runs in the family.

“My dad, he’s an engineer as well,” Jeremy Pemberton said. “I like fixing things, you know, building stuff, improving on things, making things easier.”

In addition to the hands-on experience, STCC student X’Avier De Jesus told 22News there was another valuable lesson he learned during the challenge. 

“Teamwork,” De Jesus explained. “We always had to fix and edit, and make sure everything ran smooth.”

The challenge was made possible by a group of soldiers from the Massachusetts National Guard. They travel all over the state to introduce STEM robotics to students.

“National Guardsmen have been protecting the Commonwealth for almost four centuries, and the way we’re doing that now is we’re improving education,” Army Sgt. 1st Class Ken Dowd said. “The idea is to stimulate the STEM programs around the state.”

To learn more about STCC’s STEM program, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Only on | Digital First

More Digital First

Trending Stories

Donate Today