In September of 2005, Prairieland Elementary formed a Robotics club so that interested students could experience firsthand the design and programming of a robot. Once completed, the students could then enter into competition with other schools.
This competition is made possible by A multi National organization called F.I.R.S.T (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) formed in 1989 and aspires to make "science, math, engineering, and technology as cool for kids as sports are today." FIRST was started by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway Human Transporter.
F.I.R.S.T has different types of robotic challenges based on age of participants. The Prairieland Explorers entered into the FIRST Lego League which is designed for kids from 9 to 14 years of age. Each year a new challenge is put forth, and the one for 2005 was the Ocean Odyssey. The goal was to complete missions with an Ocean theme.
The scoring at the competition is not only based on robot performance, the kids also have to do some research on a topic and put on a presentation for the judges based on that research. Since the theme for 2005 was the Ocean, the research had to be about a problem we face with the Oceans, and a proposed solution to that problem.
A few members of the Explorers smile for the camera.
A scrimmage before the Regional tournament.
The Explorers practice before the start of the Regional competition.
The explorers pose between runs.
Preparing to Compete.
The Explorers ham it up after capturing 3rd place in Regionals.
There is a video that shows the announcement of the Prairieland Explorers 3rd place victory, that can be viewed by clicking here.