A high school robotics teams spreads interest in STEM subjects and engineering just through their enthusiasm and excitement for the classes and competitions.
At Pleasant Valley High School, the robotics team expanded this year from a team of fewer than 20 students to a class of 31 students. This increase of 13 students took place after Calhoun County Board of Education
offered summer training for teachers through Jacksonville State University to start robotics programs at Pleasant Valley and White Plains High Schools.
The board made the decision to arrange the training after students requested a robotics program in both schools.
Since the training occurred, Adam Goosby, who teaches the program says “It’s just taken off like a rocket." Goosby also teaches science and forensics.
Students have the opportunity to learn from industry professionals, which enhances the value for them. “It sounds kind of nerdy to say, ‘Hey, I’m on the robotics team,’” Goosby added. One of the sponsors of the program is Alabama Power, who has supplied an engineer for the students to work with. Students also get to meet professional engineers from local companies at competitions.
The added value of working with sponsors is that students are exposed to a possible career path and field of study.
The team is able to explore fields related to robotics, and not just engineering. The structure of the team is like a corporation, with a CEO, marketing director, and community relations manager.