All students at SJHS are in Mr. Rencher’s class in seventh grade for Career Technology Education. After learning about technology in seventh grade, many students take Exploring Technology from Mr. Rencher in eighth or ninth grade. The Exploring Technology students were recently able to build and control robots as an activity in class. The point of the exercise was so that the students that took the class could learn about robotics and electronics. This task is called Mechatronics. Mr. Rencher had the class start in February and they spent about a month with the students programming and learning about the robots.
All of the students start with the same robot and attach different sensors to it to do different experiments. All the experiments need to be programed on the computer so the robot can work. Mr. Rencher said, “I had some students make a robot this term that picked up a ball and Derek Peterson and Josh Kovatch made one that pulled itself along a string. Most of the students made a robot that followed a line around a track using a light sensor. I have had students make battlebots and some students in a group had two robots communicate with each other through Bluetooth.”
Many kids in his class have lots of fun thinking up new things to have their robots do. Garrett Huffaker and Brady Dolan, eighth graders at SJHS, made a robot that moved on a string like a ski lift. Derek Petersen, an eighth grader in Exploring Technology, said, “We had a lot of fun with the robots, and I think that the coolest robot was the ski lift robot. The robots were already built out of Legos, and we just had to program in what we wanted it to do.”