BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — Pender County students are gearing up for a robotics competition.
Jared Pinkston, a Pender High School chemistry teacher, took the reins when it came to getting a robotics team started for Pender County students. He said they received some grant money to get started. Now, they are headed for their first competition.
Pinkston said he saw a need for students to get this type of hands-on learning.
“There’s not a lot of opportunities for our kids to actually interact with computer programs and in computer science the way they would do in the real world,” said Pinkston. “What I am finding is that if you look at the job market today there’s a lot of jobs that are in automation, and there’s a lot of jobs tackling real world programming.”
The team is called Los Creadores, which means ‘The Creators’. Team members are welcomed from any school in the county.
Many of the students in the program said they are interested in engineering as a career choice. They said this experience is giving them an unique opportunity to learn.
Miguel Ortiz-Cruz, team captain, said he is interested in possibly sound engineering. The Pender High School senior said they are about 3 weeks in and it is tough building a robot from scratch. That is especially true because the competition requires the robot to roll on tough terrain, throw a ball and scale a tower.
“It’s hard,” said Ortiz-Cruz. “We had to rewire it two times and we had to rebuild it four times and then right now we are currently in the process of designing it.”
Ortiz-Cruz said he likes the challenge.
Pinkston said the team is always in need of donations and professionals who can help with building and programming.
The regional competition Los Creadores will be participating in is in March.