New 4-H robotics club excels at first competition

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County has begun a robotics 4-H Club that is seeing great success.

The TaskMasters 4-H Club participated in the Hudson Valley Regional FIRST Technology Challenge and scored enough points to place seventh out of 24 teams.

As a rookie team, this was quite an accomplishment; they outscored numerous veteran teams of high schoolers.

The FIRST Technology Challenge, FTC, is a student-centered activity that focuses on giving students a unique and stimulating experience.

Each year, teams participate in a new game that requires them to design, build, test and program autonomous and driver-operated robots that must perform a series of tasks.

This year’s game, Block Party, required the teams to move yellow blocks into goals and bins. The teams work with another team as an alliance to score more point than their opponents.

FTC participants develop a greater appreciation of science and technology and how they might use that knowledge to impact the world around them in a positive manner.

They also cultivate life skills such as:

** Planning, brainstorming and creative problem-solving

** Research and technical skills

** Collaboration and teamwork

Appreciation of differences and respect for the ideas and contributions of others.

The TaskMasters 4-H Club used Tetrix and NXT kits to build their robot and National Instrument’s LabView to program it.

The 4-H Club’s members — Nate Kraus, Eric Davis, Dante LaVergne and Liam Gnadt — are extremely grateful for all the mentors that assisted the club in preparing for the tournament: Bob Davis, Bill Gnadt, Christine Gnadt, Trevor LaVergne and Tim Kraus.

The TaskMasters 4-H Club meets on Thursday nights and its membership is open to sixth-graders and older. They will be participating in Oswego County 4-H’s Public Presentation Program before they return to learning and working with robots.

To receive information about the Oswego County 4-H and its Robotics Program,  contact Linda Brosch, 4-H team coordinator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, at 963-7286, ext. 400.

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