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Clayton State and Forest Park Dwarf House to Host Robotics Bowl to Kick Off Summer STEM Program

Clayton State and Forest Park Dwarf House to Host Robotics Bowl to Kick Off Summer STEM Program

Apr 03 2015

Scott BaileyThe Clayton State University Robotics Bowl - sponsored by the College of Information & Mathematical Sciences (CIMS) at Clayton State University and Chick-fil-A's historic Forest Park Dwarf House - will be held at the Forest Park Dwarf House, 4959 Jonesboro Rd., Forest Park, on Friday, Apr. 17, beginning at 5 p.m.

The objective of the Robotics Bowl is to provide added exposure to local STEM/Robotics programs and to kick off a series of summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) enrichment opportunities that will be held at the Forest Park Dwarf House. Taking part in the Robotics Bowl will be teams from six Clayton County Middle Schools, and the public is invited to attend.

Recently, Dr. Tonya Clarke, director of K-12 mathematics for Clayton County Public Schools, received a $20,000 Verizon Innovative Learning Grant to be used to start six after-school middle school robotics teams. These teams, while furthering local interest in STEM programs, will also compete in the annual FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition, held at Clayton State and sponsored by CIMS every January. The six middle schools benefiting from the grant are Lovejoy, MD Roberts, Jonesboro, Kendrick, Rex Mill, and North Clayton. 

According to Dr. Scott Bailey, Clayton State assistant professor of Mathematics, and the director of the FIRST LEGO League regionals, the Apr. 17 event is the kick-off for the grant-based programs, and all six schools will participate as an informal introduction to working with the EV3 Mindstorm Robotics Kit. Also competing will be teams consisting of teachers, one consisting of a Clayton State professor or two, and potentially one of Clayton State students.

The event will consist of a 2v2 Capture-the-Flag battle. Each team will pair up with each of the other teams in a round-robin style tournament.

“Teams, composed of up to 10 children with at least one adult coach, will compete in robo-combat,” says Clarke. “The primary work for the students will be programming an autonomous robot, using the Lego Mindstorms robot set, to score points on a thematic playing surface while creating an innovative solution to a social problem.”

Clarke adds that, while completing their project, students must be guided by the team’s Core Values of teamwork, problem solving through research, collaboration, honor in competition, discovery and professionalism.

The popular FIRST LEGO League competition for regional young STEM whizzes ages nine to 14 is held primarily in Clayton State’s James M. Baker University Center. The competition is the Championship Qualifying Round for 32 teams of regionally-local students. The FLL competition has three parts - the Robot Game, the Project, and the Core Values. The top teams from the six super regionals in Georgia advance to the state competition each year in late January.

The FLL competition highlights student understanding of; the STEM disciplines with a focus on computer science and robotics, as well as a common civility through teamwork, core values, basic research methods, scholarly competition and fun.

The Forest Park Dwarf House is the second Chick-fil-A restaurant opened by the late Truett Cathy, and is also actively involved in the FIRST LEGO League competition.

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