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With Chappie in theaters and A.I. on everyone’s lips from Stephen Hawking’s to Elon Musk’s and Google talking about self-driving cars by 2016 — robots are in the news.
Emily, a 17-year-old junior at Garrison Forest School, is one of just 35 female high school students (out of 2,700 competing nationwide) to win the prestigious award, “Aspirations in Computing,” from the National Center for Women and Information Technology.
In the course of daily life, most of us go up and down dozens of stairs every day. And usually, we don’t think much of it. But thanks to a transformation by undergrads in the Johns Hopkins Robotics Club, a staircase in one of the university’s academic buildings is now a whole different kind of experience.
What: Battle O’Baltimore
When: Saturday, September 21, 2013, 9 am to 6 pm
Where: Boys’ Latin HS — Baltimore, MD
Cost: FREE and open to the public
Sponsors: NASA, The Maryland Space Business Roundtable and the FIRST Baltimore Area Alliance teams.
Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and its Robotics Competitions have swept the nation, engaging more than 300,000 students in science and technology this year. FIRST helps students discover the rewarding world of innovation and engineering with the help of more than 100,000 adult volunteers and mentors.
During the competition season, teams had 6 weeks to design, build, and test robots to play this year’s game called “Ultimate Ascent.” The official FRC competition events are held in March and April. Off-season events are organized by local groups to provide additional competition opportunities and exposure to FIRST. The game is played based on the rules established during the regular season. The goal of off-season events is to train new members and entice the interest of potential participants. FIRST competitions have been described as “the Super Bowl of Smarts.”
As the robot-obsessed among us already know, there are plenty of competitions for middle- and high-school robotics teams. Schools love these events because studies have shown that participating in robotics makes students more interested in math and science, The problem is, entering often involves registration fees and travel expenses that make them prohibitive for many Baltimore City public schools. That’s why Johns Hopkins created the Hopkins Robotics Cup, an initial step in building an a robust robotics scene in Baltimore.