Decatur City Schools Robotics

E-News February 2016

This is the February edition of the Robotics Newsletter. Decatur City Schools has a robotics club in every elementary and middle school as well as DARC (the Decatur Austin Robotics Coalition), a high school team made up of students from both Austin and Decatur High Schools.

Decatur City Schools Robotics Facebook Page

Please visit and "like" our page!

2016 Robotics Expo!

The Expo will be on March 14th (Pi Day!!!!!) at Ingall's Harbor at 6:00 p.m.. Please mark your calendars!

The Alien Challenge (Robotics Expo)

An alien will land at Ingall’s Harbor in Decatur, Alabama on March 14, 2016! In order to find out whether or not it is friendly, the City of Decatur has asked the robotics teams to build and program robots to greet and feed the alien to let it know that Decatur is a friendly city.

Here are the general rules for the Alien Challenge:

Each school can enter a maximum of 2 teams (consisting of 2-3 students each).

Teams can compete in one or both of the challenges.

The alien will be made from standard LEGO bricks.

The alien will be placed 4 meters from the START line. The START line will be standard black electrical tape.

There will be no surface challenges- we will be on the floor at Ingall’s.

Each team will have TWO attempts to complete the challenge. Each attempt will be a maximum of 3 minutes.

After the students have pushed the button on the robot to start the challenge, they cannot touch it again!

Teams will receive ribbons for completing each part of the challenge!

PART I- Greet the Alien

  1. The robot must start at the START line.

  2. The robot must travel to the alien and STOP within 20 centimeters (this will be marked with black electrical tape) of the alien.

  3. Display a smiley face on the EV-3 screen to prove you are friendly!

  4. Return to the START line.

PART II- Feed the Alien

For this challenge your team will need to figure out a way to carry food (wrapped Little Debbie Oatmeal Cake) from the START line to the alien.

  1. Begin at the START line.

  2. Deliver the food to the alien and drop it off within 20 centimeters (marked with black electrical tape)

  3. Have the robot say HELLO.

  4. Move back to the START position.

  5. Have the robot spin around!


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Austinville Elementary School

Jeffrey Gilbreath, Sponsor

Banks-Caddell Elementary School

Joy Martin and Whitney Eddy, Sponsors
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Pictured from right to left: Timothy (4th), Derek (3rd), Arela (3rd), and Lana (4th) put together an EV3 robot named "ROBO" in just two Robotics Club meetings! Teamwork makes the dream work!

Benjamin Davis Elementary School

Andrea Richardson, Teacher

In STEM this semester, the Ben Davis second graders are using the WeDo Robotic kits. These kits enable the students to work as young scientists, engineers, and mathematicians as they troubleshoot and think logically to create programs to produce specific behaviors.

Chestnut Grove Elementary School

Kristi Adams and Mary Kate Collins, Sponsors

Eastwood Elementary School

Melissa Dickman, Jennie Roberts, Margaret Greer, Sarah Farrow,Patti Wilkins, and Tiffany Abernathy, Sponsors
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Eastwood's Junior Robotics Club

Francis Nungester Elementary School

Allison Sain and Katherine Smith, Sponsors

Julian Harris Elementary School

Madhu Singh, Sponsor

Leon Sheffield Elementary Magnet School

Kent Sanders and Nathan Holmes, Sponsors
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LSMS Robotics Field Trip to RTP and ULA

Somerville Road Elementary School

Diedre Davis, Sponsor

Walter Jackson Elementary School

Leah Payne, Sponsor

West Decatur Elementary School

Shannon Posey, Sponsor

Woodmeade Elementary School

Debra Shelton, Cristy Brown and Tonya Russell, Sponsors

EV3 Robotics Resources


Brookhaven Middle School

Cassandra Thrower, Sponsor

Brookhaven Competitive Robotics Team

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Brookhaven's Competitive Robotics Class is competing in groups against each other in a Battle Bots Challenge this week creating weapons. The rules for this competition are: 1. 5 minute time limit , 2. If 3 parts fall off, automatic elimination, 3. If robot falls over and can't get back up, automatic elimination. The competition will be held Wednesday or Thursday depending on when everyone is done with building and programming. They have had 2 previous challenges, Off Road Racing and Sumo.

Cedar Ridge Middle School

Tammy Pickens, Sponsor

Oak Park Middle School

Amy Hill, Sponsor

Oak Park Competitive Robotics Team

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Oak Park Middle School and Cedar Ridge Middle School are participating in FLL this year!! Local Competition is November 14th!

The best way to summarize FIRST LEGO League is to say that it is a robotics program for 9 to 16 year olds (9 to 14 in US/CAN/MEX), which is designed to get children excited about science and technology -- and teach them valuable employment and life skills. Teams, composed of up to ten students with at least one adult coach, can also be associated with a pre-existing club or organization, homeschooled, or just be a group of friends who wish to do something awesome.

In FLL, the students do the work! And the work is programming an autonomous robot (using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robot set) to score points on a thematic playing surface, creating an innovative solution to a problem as part of their project, all while being guided by the FLL Core Values. These three elements - the Robot Game, Project, and FLL Core Values - make up what we call the FLL yearly Challenge.


DARC Robotics

Susan Haddock, Sponsor Kent Sanders, Assistant Coach

Joey Haddock, Steven Lamb, Doug Shoemaker,Marc Stewart, Anita Blunier, and Dana Stewart, Mentors

DARC participates in the BEST Robotics Competition

Take plywood and a box filled with items such as PVC pipe, screws and other hardware, an irrigation valve cover, piano wire, aluminum paint grid, a bicycle inner tube, a BRAIN (BEST Robotics Advanced Instruction Node programmable platform), and something called a micro-energy chain system and try, within six weeks, to design and build a functioning machine that can perform certain, specific tasks in three minutes. What do you get?

You get BEST, a middle and high school robotics competition whose mission is to engage and excite students about engineering, science, and technology as well as inspire them to pursue careers in these fields.

Through participation in our project-based STEM program, students learn to analyze
and solve problems utilizing the Engineering Design Process, which helps them develop technological literacy skills. It is these skills that industry seeks in its workforce.

Each fall, over 850 middle and high schools and over 18,000 students participate in the competition.

This year's theme is "Pay Dirt".

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Tennessee Valley BEST Competition Photos

Decatur City Schools Robotics Expo 2016

Monday, March 14th, 6pm

701 Market Street Northwest

Decatur, AL