Robots everywhere at Buckeye Local High School


Robots were everywhere at Buckeye Local High School on Friday! 

It’s called the Sea Air and Land Challenge and it’s sponsored by Penn State University’s Electro-Optics Center. ​The challenge offered 40 plus students from across the Ohio Valley a chance to put their STEM skills and their personally crafted robots to the test.

“It doesn’t matter what age,” said organizer Jeff Merrill. “Eight or 80 these things are fun to play with. They really are.”

Martins Ferry Tech Club brought its claw-bot. They were one of five school teams competing in the Sea Air and Land Challenge including Beaver Local, East Liverpool, Wheeling Central, and Buckeye Local who housed today’s robo-tivities.

All competing bots braved the elements including earth, air and water. 

“Completely from scratch,” explained Bailey Kinder from Martins Ferry. “They give you bolts, screws, axles, gears.”

They gave competitors the basics, but basic won’t due when you’re competing against other junior robo-wizards, so they made some modifications. 

One group used virtual goggles, which connected to a tiny camera to allow first person vision and better navigate through the obstacles. 

“The students really put everything together and they use their knowledge of motors and the knowledge they acquired from wood shop and metal shop to put this all together,” explained MFHS Tech Club advisor Stacey Bliss. 

Innovative skills that could set themselves forward into the technology and robotics fields.

“We’re actually getting these kids opportunities with CAD,” Merrill continued. “We have 3D printers and they’re able to print things 3D. They’re getting skills now to be able to get themselves ahead in college and the real world.”

It took students three months to craft their robots. 

The day wrapped up with an awards ceremony, where students were rewarded with trophies for their hard work. 

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