HMS Robotics Club helps students’ problem solving skills
Published 5:25 pm Wednesday, October 14, 2015
By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer
HELENA–A group of Helena Middle School students are putting their design and problem solving skills to the test by participating in the B.E.S.T Robotics Club.
The robotics club at HMS is a six-week competition in which the students have to build a robot and also have to write a manual to describe how they built it, along with the building process. They must then provide a sales pitch by acting as a company to try and sell their robot on why it’s the best robot.
When the six weeks concludes, the 19 HMS students in the robotics club will travel to Bartow Arena in Birmingham to compete against other schools around the state for a variety of awards.
Christine Hoffman, sponsor of the HMS Robotics Club, described some of her favorite things about the club and how it prepares students for the future.
“My favorite thing is just the kids learning and being able to problem solve and troubleshoot together because that’s a real life skill,” said Hoffman. “You’re going to have that in the workplace, so troubleshooting together is probably my favorite thing about the program.”
This is the third year HMS has participated in the program and each year they have improved in the Blazer BEST Robotics competition.
“Our first year we came in 24th out of 25th and last year we came in ninth place out of 27, so we’ve moved up really fast,” said Hoffman.
For the past six weeks the Helena students have been working on their robot and manual after school until 5 p.m. to get it ready for the competition.