BY KALISHA MENDONSA
The Lacombe Composite High School (LCHS) Robotics Club is excited to be hosting their second annual Robotics Rodeo this week, open to the community.
The event takes place Nov. 17th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the high school’s auxiliary gym. The event has several objectives, the primary one being to show off the exquisite skills of LCHS students. The event is free, but guests are asked to RSVP their attendance to arrange for seating and refreshments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
As well, the community is being invited to hear about the benefits of the program for students and for the community to become involved through partnerships and even potential sponsorships for students.
The Robotics Rodeo is being organized by Steven Schultz and Warren Kreway, who regularly work with the robotics students.
“There are a number of reasons for our robotics fair. First, it’s an avenue for our students to demonstrate their understanding so far. Part of that will be showing off the robots they built last year, as well as the progress they’ve made on their robots this year,” Schultz said.
“As well, it’s a way of recognizing our sponsors and mentors. I think most importantly though is our community outreach portion of our program. It’s a crucial component of our club. We want to showcase our club to the community.”
Last year, approximately 60 students wanted to be a part of the LCHS robotics club. Since then, the group has had to set up some guidelines including an application process to determine which students are able to participate.
Schultz explained that although they love the interest, the simple fact is that it is an expensive club and requires a lot of dedication from students to maintain.
Currently, the 30-35 students who are part of the club are each taking self-driven studies that relate to either engineering or robotics to supplement their club participation.
“It’s quite challenging sometimes, as we have 30-plus individuals who are at different levels and who are each trying to do self-directed independent courses that also fulfill the mandate of being able to help them work with their robots. It’s a process, but it’s all well on it’s way,” he said.
Schultz and Kreway both agree that perhaps the most important reason for the Robotics Rodeo is to engage the community and get other people involved in numerous roles with the club.
“Community outreach is incredibly important in a community of our size. We’ve had the luxury of partnering with government officials, local businesses and citizens who have looked at stepping up and mentoring the students,” Kreway said.
“The other side of community engagement is about getting people to come forward with different ideas and ways for the club to grow.”
Kreway said its been incredible to have community sponsors as well as being able to connect the senior and youth populations through robotics.
“The seniors are learning about technology and they are learning how the kids work, and the kids are getting to know the seniors and work with them, so it’s a win-win situation for the kids and the seniors in the community,” he explained.
The Robotics Rodeo is a valuable part of keeping the club going and Schultz and Kreway are really hoping to draw a big crowd to the event.