As some background, Dyplast sponsors the Robotics Program at the Rockway Middle School in Miami - - part of our larger general program to support STEM in schools. Our philosophy, as espoused by many others, is that Elementary and Middle Schools can be the primary formative influence in a young student's life. The best way to instill a lifelong interest in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) is to provide a fun, engaging, and hands-on opportunity to explore and experience it for themselves. By its nature, the study of robotics inherently incorporates all four pillars of STEM - - and it’s “cool”.
Our assistance at Rockway is aimed at sparking a curious mind before the students decide that engineering "isn't cool". And please note these robots do not destroy each other or mow lawns!! Rather, the student teams must imagine, create, design, build, and program robots built that compete against other robots in activities that may include moving objects, stacking pieces, going up stairs, and executing more strategic maneuvers. Some robots, depending on level of competition are “remotely controlled” by the team; others may include more “autonomous programming” - - which may earn them more points.
We are so proud of the achievements of all the nine teams from Rockway, but in particular Rock-G-Bots (an all-girls team) and RockBots 2929-A (6th graders). Team 2929A qualified for World Competition & won 2 awards (Sportsmanship & 2nd Place in Teamwork) at the South FL VEX State Championship! VEX Rock-G-B got to finals at US Open CREATE Robotics Championship in Iowa. They teamed up with Team 8193C from Shanghai China (yes each team must team with another), to compete against the 80 best teams from China &USA.
As Vincent Fuster, CFO of Dyplast and active supporter of the Robot Teams, summarized in his Tweet “When these young engineers work all season long and experience accomplishments like these, that’s when they realize that perseverance, dedication and discipline really pays off. Top two in the nation in skills and top 12 teams in teamwork...WOW...!!!!”