It's not just about the robots

Students at Lincoln Southwest High School have earned top honors at several events this year in the VEX Robotics competitions. They have won a statewide event, and qualified for nationals and worlds.

Teacher Jeff Jochum and students Austin Jochum and Andrew Steinhausen talk about what it means for student learning and future career pathways.  (Transcript below)

Jeff Jochum

It is not necessarily about the robots about the design and engineering and thought process more than anything. You know we used to do electric cars, do a lot of different types of competitions and stuff, this just happens to be the vehicle that we are competing with now. So I mean, part of it is the robotics, but a lot more of it is the engineering in the design process that they are able to go through, and those skills they can apply to anything.

Andrew Steinhausen

What we did this year as we went to a competition before we even started building, to see what other people were doing so, we are not doing something that we know it's not going to work. And so, that helps a lot. And then we look at the aspects that work really well for other people, and incorporate some of those aspects and what we build ourselves.

Jeff Jochum

In competition, our goal is to be able to send them to the back of the arena. There's typically a white line right here so if a star lands in front of the white line it's worth one point, if we can go to the back of the arena it's worth two points. The bag there is worth two points, and if you can go to the back it's worth four points. At the end if you can hang, it's worth more.

Austin Jochum

I think it definitely helps video game wise if you play little bit more, you are more used to the controls to, even if you get a new game you have to learn how it is how to play it. Because this game is different. Well this one, if you are used to Learning games different, then you can pick up on how to drive and different driving methods rather easy.

Jeff Jochum

Every year it's a different competition, so next year, these guys are both juniors, so next year when they come back they will have a totally different challenge. Last year they had balls that we shot across the arena. Before that we had bags that we had to lift. So every year it’s something a little bit different.


Published: March 14, 2017, Updated: March 14, 2017