On Friday, Oct. 26, KO’s Robotics team participated in the Spooktacular event held at The Children’s Museum by showcasing their robot from last year at a booth in the dinosaur exhibit.
Senior Matt Safalow contacted the museum early in the year, and Head Coach of the Robotics Team Kathleen DiSanto booked a spot. Senior Ben Poulios said that it was an event for the children to celebrate Halloween and that it was the team’s first time going there. The robotics team walked to the museum after practice ended, and the event lasted from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Ben said that the team had two boards: one showing their impact on the community—organizing a scrimmage for other schools to compete in and holding the electric car show—and the other presented the resume and pictures of the team.
They also brought a bucket of candies and toys for the kids because of the spooky theme. The team set up the robot so that someone could control it with a remote to pick up relics and then move them around the field.
Ms. DiSanto said that the kids were not able to operate the remote and played with the extending arms of the robot instead but were still very engaged. She also explained that the robotics team is responsible for building robots and conducting short-term outreach projects. She said that she enjoyed the concept of introducing STEM to young kids. Ms. DiSanto said that the museum’s proximity is a bonus of doing this particular outreach.
Ben said that he had fun. “The best thing for me was seeing the kids being interested in the robots, and you can see that they are when they get really close to them,” he said, “and I think that the best thing for the kids was probably seeing the robots and getting the candies. The robots were really inspiring for the next generation.”
Senior Kevin Wan said that he thinks it is very important for the robotics team to do outreach programs such as this one because he thinks it is very critical to promote and educate younger students about STEM. Kevin said that the robot the team made last year primarily serves to put cubes—glyphs—into shelves and put relics into zones.
He said that this year’s robot aims to pick up balls in the game and put them into a cargo hole. “We needed to program the robot so that it can make simple decisions as to which ball to pick and how to get somewhere,” he said.
“I love robotics,” Kevin said. “It is a makerspace where people unleash the ideas in their mind and put them into work. It takes a human mind and imagination and a lot of axels to produce a robot.”