On Sunday, November 12, three teams, led by teacher advisor Mrs. Angela Ensminger, competed in the second annual Special Olympics of Washington Unified Robotics Championship at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. Team Xato, the Prism Robot Reflectors, and the Bunny Botters represented St. Madeleine’s well. As one of only two middle schools in the 36-team event, our students went head to head in a round-robin battle with high schoolers and even a local community college! In the end, our teams took home the Rising Star Award, The Perseverance Award, and the award for Best Design. Our school also won the Team Social Media Award (I believe Mrs. Ensminger and Ms. Romero had something to do with all those posts!)
Special Olympics Unified Robotics is a student-designed and implemented robotics program open to students with and without intellectual disabilities, as well as students with a variety of learning and behavior challenges. Unified Robotics encourages any number of participants as robotics team partners to train, strategize and compete.
Unified Robotics is the first of its kind in the nation and brings the world of STEM and the sport of robotics to more middle and high school students interested in STEM – including many students who are often excluded from extracurricular activities. Team partners work together as athletes (with at least one member student identified with intellectual, physical or educational challenges) to build robots using Lego Mindstorms kits. Small teams create their own robot including designing, building, and programming the robot. At the final tournament-style competition, each team presents their robot and its features, and competes in a new game created each year.
Way to go, SMS competitors and- especially – to Mrs. Ensminger for working through so many lunch periods to make this effort a success! We also thank some of our angel donors who have continued to support the program through their financial gifts.