Building Robots, Skills and Community Awareness
Dec 09, 2015 11:34AM ● Published by Bryan Scott
By Aimee L. Cook
West Valley - The Hunter High School Robotics Club does a lot of cool stuff, but not all of it is focused on building robotics. They also give back to the community in unique ways. Recently the team, along with their dedicated advisor, Scott Watson, participated in an event called “Out of the Darkness Walk.”
This event is for families and focuses on suicide prevention. The team also received an anonymous donation of $1,000 that they donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the host of the event.
The robotics club is a competition team of 39 members that meets several days after school, and requires a lot of dedication and involvement. Service to the community is a big part of what they do.
In addition, they participate in robotic competitions, social robotics coding and skills challenges. The club’s goal is to help each member gain skills to be successful in college, careers and life.
“I like being in the robotics club because it has opened up so many opportunities,” Tristan Palmer, junior, said. “Things like amazing scholarships, internships, service events like the ‘Out of the Darkness Walk,’ and a chance to learn valuable skills like coding or how to work with the several different types of robots we work on. I feel that the ‘Out of the Darkness Walk’ went well (even though it is not an event I would like a need to exist for.) We did our job well, which was helping kids build small wooden toys. I learned that suicide unfortunately affects people of all ages, races, backgrounds and, worst of all, kids, since we saw a lot of kids at the event.”
Even when the team is working on robotics, they are doing so in way that may help the community. Currently the team is working on a program called Source America that is run by the United States Government, which sends out lists of different types of robotic parts needed for a disabled person to obtain a job. Only the people on the list are real.
“The list has thousands of items on it, and we try and find ones we are capable of and work on them,” Watson said. “We are also working on a program called Social Robotics. These are things like the Siri on your iPhone, and they are designed to socially interact.”