About 100 competitors from nine middle schools from across central and north Louisiana came to Northwestern State University Dec. 4 to prove that their robots were the best designed and operated. The ballroom in NSU’s student union reverberated with cheers and the whir of motors as the robots the students built ran mazes, sped through races and vied against each other in a tug of war.
The students also got to see demonstrations from the robotics teams from Southwood High in Shreveport and Natchitoches’ Louisiana School for Math Science and the Arts. The Louisiana State Police brought their bomb squad’s robot. At 450 lbs and equipped with cameras and a disrupter that can fire everything from water to slugs at suspected bombs, the LSP’s robot was a heavyweight crowd favorite.
A team from Donnie Bickham Middle School in Shreveport took first place. Broadmoor Middle School won second place and Caddo Middle Magnet won third.
The Natchitoches Parish Journal would like to commend Dr. Jafar Al-Sharab and NSU’s Engineering Technology Department for putting on this event. It is indeed a joy to see young people having fun and engaging in learning and competition that can change lives for the better. This is the kind of outreach to the community that makes Northwestern State University a special place. No Natchitoches Parish School was at the competition. That needs to change. We’d like to see every middle school in the parish at next year’s event.
Information on the Department of Engineering Technology is available at engrtech.nsula.edu.