For the 2021-2022 academic year, Quest Middle School has a Robotics club filled with eager 5th -7th graders. The coaches leading these students are Jennifer Welch-Ferrell, Nicole Farmer and Jay Johnston. “The main things we as teachers teach are leadership, accountability and focus, all characteristics needed for robotics,” they state. Having the robotics club allows students to apply their knowledge of decoding and continue to build on their reading, science, and math skills. The students work in teams and are accountable to and for each other. Being a S T E A M School, the robotics club is an extension of the S T E A M values continuing outside the traditional classroom.
The requirements for scholars’ participation are no grades below a C in all content areas, must consistently demonstrate positive behaviors, follow directions, listen to teachers, and attend weekly Wednesday after school and bi-weekly Saturday meetings. Currently, there are 27 students enrolled. The members are preparing and looking forward to their first tournament in December. They have been learning decoding to control the robots, deciding as a team what they are going to build and the most efficient way to build what the team decides. It’s interesting to watch as they decide what to build and the transformation from what to HOW. This is where the skills of teamwork and compromise are on display. “This is a terrific way for students to work as a team with various components of a technology platform,” according to Mrs. Farmer.
The first tournament will be on December 11th, and the excitement is hard to contain. They’ve been learning how to decode for control of the robots, with ideas that include wings & wheels, transformers, walking robots, and smart system robots, to name a few.
Funding in part comes from Caterpillar, the school, parents and fundraisers for continued support of the club for the existence of the school year. The students are super excited. Other teaching staff members have welcomed the club and recognize the academic advantages it will offer students and further enhance their skills.