By Vivian Shipe
KNOXVILLE- In the next twenty years, robots will replace many of the duties that humans perform today. Those who are able to build and program this new technology will be the ones who can demand high salaries, have high paying careers and start their own businesses. For the last four years, in the heart of East Knoxville, students at Austin East Magnet High School have been preparing to step into this future of technology and innovation.
Robotics, the creation of mechanical devices you can program to follow specific instructions, is also the way to teach science, technology, engineering and math. To a generation born into a world of technology, robotics is a creative way to teach abstract thought, and concepts thru touch and manipulation via direct experience. A by product of the training is the confidence and empowerment realized by the student.
The Austin East CODE RED Robotics Club is part of FIRST Robotics, an international high school organization. Tanisha Fitzgerald-Baker the club sponsor, and volunteer mentors within the community donate time and resources to ensure the students have what they need to learn and compete. The students receive a specific task at the beginning of the robotics season. They have six weeks to build a fully functional robot that perform specific tasks. CODE RED won second place at the Tennessee Valley Fair in September and most recently competed in the quarter finals in Corbin Kentucky in the Battle of the Bluegrass.
Think it, Build it, Watch it Work…..the skills of the future are in the hands of these students today.