What do you get when you combine the STEM, peer-to-peer mentorship, the development of communication skills and global citizenship, collaboration and teamwork, and some really cool autonomous robots? VEX robot competitions! 

Our guest speaker this week was Carrie Rice, math teacher at Brownell Talbot and coach for the internationally recognized VEX robotics team. Rice has coached the team for the past 14 years and BT has won numerous awards at the state, national, and regional level. 
VEX robotics competitions were originally designed to help address the shortage of engineers by getting middle and high school aged children interested in STEM. Student teams design and build their own robots that are programmed to perform specific tasks. These robots then compete with other robotics teams from all over the city, state, nation, and even the world. 
Ms. Rice showed us a few clips of the competitions as well as a quick tour of the lab where students work. She highlighted the ways that robotics helps develop communication skills, teamwork, sportsmanship, and in the case of international competition, the importance of global citizenship. Any BT student is welcome to join the robotics team and most costs are covered by BT, allowing for access to all students interested. 
Downtown Rotary thanks Ms. Rice for her dedication and leadership in the development of young minds. 
~Adam Leong
Guest Journalist