The third week of York Robothon is in the books. One final week remains before the Capstone Event on August 2. Participants from the Edgar Fahs Smith STEAM Academy and York YMCA have been at Asbury United Methodist Church on East Market Street learning about robotics from Freelance York’s Daniel Kemper and York Exponential’s Daniel Heckert. The teams are making good progress on their client projects but crunch time is almost here. So, how are things going?

Client Projects

A York Robothon team works with their client, Christian, who is a local artist that wants to use a robot to help create art

A York Robothon team works with their client, Christian, who is a local artist that wants to use a robot to help create art

First, what are the client projects the participants are involved in? Team One is tasked with creating an Escape Room Puzzle for Tom of Escape Games Live. Team Two is working with Chanele, who creates and sells beauty products like body butter and face cream. Team Three is doing work for local artist Christian to have a robot assist in creating works of art. 

Making Incredible Progress

The teams are making incredible progress. They’ve had a great mix of team building and subject matter activities to establish roles and responsibilities of each member of the team. The biggest challenge has been overcoming the technical challenges, which are different for each team. One team simply has a lot of work to push through. Another is dealing with the intricacies of designing a puzzle with their robot and yet another is trying to design around a physical tool which hasn’t been fully built yet. We also only have 2 grippers so figuring out how to share what we have has been a challenge for everyone.

Collaborating A Success

York Robothon participants working with a gripper

York Robothon participants working with a gripper

The kids have found it quite easy to collaborate having had some pre-existing experience in working together or pre-existing friendships. The desire to win the competition is also playing some role in willingness to refocus when needed. They are implementing not just the technical skills related to the robots specifically, but are also breaking complex real-world challenges into manageable parts that they can solve with these tools.

We consider York Robothon to be a success so far. If nothing else, the kids have had a safe and fun environment to spend a part of their summer in. Anything productive beyond that point is wonderful and to be celebrated.

Capstone Event On Friday

York Robothon will culminate on Friday, August 2 at 4 PM at Asbury Methodist Church with the Capstone Event. We will be celebrating the kids’ accomplishments and the event is open to the public, so come down and check it out!

Of course we would also like to thank our sponsors, York Exponential, the Fortress Initiative, Freelance York, the Fortress Academy, Nicely Done Sites and the York YMCA as well as Asbury United Methodist Church for hosting us. This would not have been possible without any of these groups and sponsorship opportunities are still available. If you are interested in getting on board contact Daniel Heckert.

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