The Wapakoneta Robotics Club began in the fall of 2015, and we have not had as much opportunity to reach out to our community as we would like. However, this past summer the Robotics Club was able to be apart of Wapakoneta’s Moonfest.
Moonfest is an annual event that celebrates Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon which was held in July of 1969. The Moonfest can best be described as a fair like atmosphere. Tents and Food stands line the streets of downtown Wapakoneta, and we had the honor of being one of those tents.
We set up using parts of our practice field, and we gave visitors a little challenge. Our goal was to give the community some insight into what we do when we enter a competition. We had two nets at the back end of our tent, and the goal for the visitors would be to try and shoot balls into those nets. The shooters used are similar to what is on our robot, only that the shooter on our robot is a larger scale.
We gave our visitors controllers to control the vex robots to simulate how it would feel if they were in a robotics competition. It went over well with the crowds at Moonfest, and we inspired many kids currently in the Wapakoneta school system to pursue STEM programs in school.
Through actions such as these, demand for robotics in the Wapak Middle School increased to the point that the Lego League will begin very shortly there.
In February of 2016 the robotics season was about to come to a close. We had just came from the organization’s first attendance in a robotics competition in Van Wert Ohio. When we returned to begin wrapping up the season, we were contacted by Wapakoneta High School’s superintendent. He was extremely impressed with what we were set out to do in this organization.
Our superintendent wanted us to present what we do to a series of real estate agents and retired teachers. He wanted us to do this for a variety of reasons. To the retired teachers, we were supposed to symbolizes what has changed in Wapak since they left the school system.
The Robotics Club represented Wapak advancing in technology, and we showed that Wapak has definitely expanded its STEM program to new heights. To the real estate agents, we represented what incoming families will have access to in the future. This organization, to the agents, will be a huge positive selling point to families’ teenagers.
In our presentation, we went over what “First Tech Challenge” is all about. We explained what we do in the club, and we displayed our robot for the whole room to see. Last year’s competition was shown and explained, and with that foundation we connected that competition with what our robot can do. We hope that someday, our organization will inspire families to come and live in the City of Wapakoneta.