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Robotics Outreach held at Sioux City Career Academy

Robotics Outreach held at Sioux City Career Academy

SOUTH SIOUX CITY -- An offer in January to collaborate with Northeast Community College’s extended campuses -- centered on robotics -- caught the attention of Katie Towler, director of South Sioux City’s Extended Campus.

What happened next was a collaboration between MacKenzie Hiserote, CTE program coordinator for the Sioux City Career Academy (SCCA) and Northeast to provide educational opportunities for fifth grade students during the Sioux City Career Academy’s “Fridays are for Fifth Graders” career exploration event hosted at the SCCA.  

Both Towler and Paul Cross, director of the iHub, presented relatable ways that robotics and automation exist in the world today. Students made an immediate connection to what they were studying in the Industrial Revolution. 

A selection of small, automated machines was designed for the event by Cross. It included an automated machine, a traffic light, and an autonomous driving robot.  After an overview of how the world increasingly relies on automation and smart machines to make food, drive cars and make products, students were given an opportunity to use robots to participate in game like activities. 

While the students were having fun, they were also forced to rely on collaboration and communication to be successful.  Cross and Towler left the nearly 140 students who participated with the understanding that the need for skilled technicians, programmers, and designers is not going to decrease. They also encouraged students to seek out robotics opportunities in middle school, high school, and at regional colleges like Northeast.

Summer camps are now scheduled with two robot systems for upcoming fifth- to sixth-graders and seventh- to eight-graders at the Norfolk Public Library.  The camps run for four days, with each session lasting one hour.

Parents need to sign up for their student for the same time block Monday-Thursday.  The camps begin June 3 for fifth- to sixth-graders, and June 10 for seventh- to eight-graders. See the Norfolk Public Library Activities Calendar for more information about these camps. 

For other opportunities to learn about how robotics and smart manufacturing can be presented to students from fifth grade to 12th grade, please contact Paul Cross.

SCCA Robotics Cutline
Students are given an overview of the programming, sensors, and feedback needed to make a traffic light function by Paul Cross, director of the iHub. (Northest Community College)