Robot Wars

Deer Creek StudentIn classrooms in Oklahoma and around the nation, students are waging wars with robotic weapons of the mind.

In Michelle Madison’s class at Edmond Memorial High School, senior Ryan Craig is captaining his team of mind warriors. The mission: to create a robot from a box of random parts that can pick up a plastic exercise ball, toss it over a 5-foot barrier into a hole or into the waiting arms of another hand-crafted robot.

It’s Robot Wars—the brainchild program of the nonprofit organization, Oklahoma FIRST—and the battle is on. Robot Wars is a program in which students across America engineer their own robots and battle them in a round-robin competition. It’s a sport, but it’s a sport of the mind that combines problem-solving, strategic thinking, imagination and creativity.

Science Sport

The Oklahoma FIRST organization offers Robot Wars to spark new interest and excitement in science and engineering among students. As the acronym FIRST denotes, the program strives “For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” As part of the program, students design and engineer their own robots for a regional competition and then the winners compete nationally.

In January, teams rece