The Junk Yard Robotics program got an extra boost in its funding after receiving a $5,000 grant from the Prairie Schools Foundation on February 3.
The cheque presentation was made during a Junk Yard Robotics competition at Warman High School. Each year learning grants are given out to programs within the Prairie Spirit School Division and the Junk Yard Robotics Program met those requirements.
“Junk Yard Robotics demonstrated a lot of the core values that we like to see in Prairie Spirit Schools, which is obviously innovation, side-by-side learning, and collaborative learning,” said Denise Kendrick, Prairie Spirit Schools Foundation development manager.
So far the program involves youth modifying remote control cars, taking them apart and making it their own. That includes some soldering, gluing, and rewiring to make it to go a little faster.
Since those cars are running a remote its not true robotics and with that money the program received, the youth can now build more intricate projects.
“Our goal was to build the program so that we could actually have them compete in robotics competitions such as Kilobots, that operates out of Saskatoon,” said Roxanne Bitner, one of the Junk Yard Robotics Coordinators. “Because of the money, we’ve been able to buy equipment that allows them to have arduino kits so that they can learn how to do arduino programming.”
Each group in the robotics program will receive an arduino kit, however the youth don’t personally keep the robots.
“We’re going to use it (the kits) with future groups, right, so we don’t have to re-buy and we just have to replenish the parts.” Bitner said.
Junk Yard Robotics is in its second year of operation and Bitner wants to see this program grow.
This grant will help the youth get access to certain material to help them learn more about robotics.
Junk Yard Robotics received a learning grant of $5,000 last year, as the Prairie Schools Foundation has donated $10,000 to the program in total so far.
The competition itself featured six groups from four different schools within the Prairie School district. There were many challenges, including an obstacle that youth were able to test the performance of their robots/cars.
The groups that were entered in the event were Robo Boys (Hague), The Destroyers (Hague), Wrecking Crew (Osler), The Techno Team (Martensville), Fab Three (Warman), and The Junk Yard Kings (Warman).
Each member in the group had a chance to control their robot in the different challenges and they were judged on the performance of the machine.
The overall winner of the competition was Wrecking Crew, while the Junk Yard Kings placed second. The Destroyers and Fab 3 were tied for third place.