The CIS Robotics program connects Kulshan middle school students with Sehome high school. There is a small population of students that attend Kulshan now and will attend Sehome for high school as opposed to BHS. We wanted to provide future Sehome-ies with an innovative education experience as well as connect them to their future school. We have two amazing Sehome volunteers that have been planning the weekly activities, an awesome WWU volunteer that helps support the students, and so far it has been really great working with the Kulshan middle school students with NXT robotic kits.

It’s a great group of kids and my favorite part is seeing the students collaborate and work together on projects and help each other when they face challenges. The first two meeting we allowed them to pick their own groups but this week we decided to pair them up boy-girl. At first, they all protested but Erika our high school volunteer said, “When it comes to robotics you learn the importance of working with others because everyone has a key role.” We just gave the kids a few friendly reminders to collaborate, and by the end it was just a sight to see! Sofia & Tyler who had objected the most about being matched together finished the challenge the fastest and worked together to do some freestyle programming.

In the van ride I always like to ask the students what they learned. Maria said she learned that, “programming a robot is hard but once you keep working at gets better.” Edwardo said, “you never get it the first time [the challenge] but you have to keep trying, and trying and then your work pays off”

Teamwork and facing challenges are lessons being learned in CIS robotics.