As virtual learning becomes the new normal, extracurriculars of the old world are beginning to plan how they’ll function during the pandemic.

Robotics competitions were typically held in school gyms with hundreds of spectators and competitors coming from different areas to compete.

“Ninety percent of the people who ran events were school systems,” said Ed Mullin, executive director of the Hollins Market-based Baltimore Robotics Centerwhich provides space for the city’s robotics league competitors. “And school systems don’t want anyone in the building let alone visitors from other schools.”

The Center’s goal is to get kids scholarships through these competitions — the kinds of scholarships that get youth a free ride to college and a dream job in robotics.

“For some kids in Baltimore city, this is their ticket to the pros,” Mullin said, referring to why the center and other robotics orgs are working so hard to make events happen. “This is a full scholarship to college and a job at Northrop Grumman or Johns Hopkins is on the line playing this sport.”