Partnering with Allen Aircraft, Maplewood Students Work Together to Enter Annual Robobots Competition

Eight students from Maplewood Career Center were selected to participate in constructing a robot for the annual Alliance for Working Together (AWT) RoboBots Competition. This year, the team is building the robot entirely from scratch instead of from a kit like previous years.

RoboBots is Northeast Ohio’s combat robotics program for high school students that gives participants real-world manufacturing experience while building and competing their robot in a tournament. For the third year in a row, Allen Aircraft is sponsoring the team’s robot and providing support during the building phase.

Currently, the students are in the design and building process. Once the team decides which supplies are needed to support the wiring schematics and build, the students will send a bill of materials and order list to Allen Aircraft.

In addition to gaining valuable hands-on experience in manufacturing, the students work from November until April building the robot after school. This year, the Maplewood students who are participating include: Josh Lake, Haley Kern, Jacob Weaver and Gaige Ludwig from the robotics and computer technology program, and Emily Hickman, Zayne Veon, Jacob Ober and Zach Schuttenburg from the applied engineering and machining program.

Coaching the Maplewood team is applied engineering and machining instructor Mark Hamilton, along with Allen Aircraft representative Bill Kemble, who also ordered the materials for Maplewood’s robot. Additionally, students from the auto collision technology class and the welding class at Maplewood will assist in bending and welding some of the robot’s materials, making this project a true team effort.

“The students always learn a great deal from competing in this opportunity, like the amount of work that goes into developing both technical and ‘soft’ skills,” said Hamilton. “Building a robot takes place in an ambiguous climate where priorities are constantly shifting, and it’s wonderful that the students are able to practice adapting to and meeting various challenges.”

This year’s competition will take place later this spring. At the competition, the students will present their project, including all the background information that went into the design and building of the robot. On the second and final day of the competition, all of the teams will compete against each other by trying to disable their opponent’s robot.

“It’s always exciting to send off the Maplewood team to this competition in April,” said Superintendent Randall Griffith. “Watching the team take charge, hone new skills and work together in a high-stakes situation is very rewarding, and we are so proud of every student’s dedication to this project.”

The AWT is a group of local companies that have joined together to sponsor the robotics competition and raise awareness for career opportunities in manufacturing.

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