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Monday, November 27, 2017

Robotics offers multiple learning experiences for students | Alpena News

"Local schools are becoming more involved with robotics programs. Being in robotics helps students in their classes, helps them create leadership roles and helps build a student’s work ethic" notes Julie Goldberg, News Staff Writer.

Alpena High School sophomore Aaron West works on fixing his robot. West said that being in robotics has helped him put more focus into his classes and has also helped him learn how to manage his time outside of the classroom. 
Photo: Julie Goldberg 

STEM education — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — is a new movement in American education that helps prepare students for the workforce. Being involved in STEM education classes helps a student prepare for the job openings that will be available.

“There are so many job openings right now, especially in Michigan,” teacher Melissa Doubek said.  

“There are job openings in stem-related careers and there are possibilities for jobs here in Alpena.”

One benefit of STEM education is that what students learn in their classes helps them in robotics and they can apply what they learn in class to the robots they are working on.

“We have our math and science classes and together with our work ethic, we can put those together to build the robots,” AHS sophomore Aaron West said.

Along with applying their school work to robotics, students learn about time management because they learn how to balance their time outside of the classroom. West said being in robotics helps students focus in their classes.
“We make sure that our classes are in top order because if our grades drop, we are not allowed on the team,” he said.

When Alpena goes to tournaments, West said students make sure that their homework is done before the tournament by using their time efficiently so they are able to compete.
“Robotics makes you realize how important hard work is and also realizing the value of cooperating with other people,” sophomore Emeline Hanna said. “Even if something goes wrong, you should still be determined to keep going because there are things that will go wrong in robotics.”

Robotics gives students experience in the science field and also gets the students interested and excited about learning new things. Doubek said some students never know that they are interested in engineering before joining robotics, but once they join, they get excited.

“They realize that what they are learning in math, physics, business and advertising, and public relations during the school day is important in robotics,” she said.

Students realize they like certain fields of science and there are different fields that students can pursue careers in. Doubek said there are some students who aren’t interested in engineering, but are instead interested in medicine. She said some students realize they want to learn leadership skills when in robotics.

“That is just as important as the students realizing that they want to go into engineering,” 

Doubek said. “We put a lot of students in leadership roles because we are trying to grow the leaders of tomorrow.”

When students are a part of a robotics program, they learn more than just building the robots with their teammates. Mentor Gary Stevens said robotics teaches students how to work in a group and as a team.

Source: Alpena News