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Bringing robots to children

Students at Westminster Christian Academy showcase one of the schools' FIRST Robotic competition robots.

Students at Westminster Christian Academy showcase one of the schools’ FIRST Robotic competition robots.

Westminster Christian Academy students recently volunteered at the St. Louis Magic House Make-It Workshop. Twenty student members of Westminster’s FIRST Robotics team attended the special event to engage families in conversation about the importance of robotics.

“Every child in St. Louis has fond memories of experiences at The Magic House,” said Lisa Harding, director of Westminster’s robotics program. “It was a wonderful opportunity for our students to feel like they were a part of that experience for other children.”

The team brought multiple robots for children and their parents to enjoy including three student-built competition robots that had been used in FIRST Robotics competitions.

Among the team’s larger robots was the 2014 Aerial Assist bot, a robot built to hold, retrieve, and throw a ball. Using that robot, Westminster students played catch with children.

“Being able to represent Westminster Robotics at The Magic House was an awesome experience,” said Steven Howell, student director of outreach for Westminster’s robotics program. “One of the things the FIRST organization and we, as a team, desire to do is to instill in young kids a fascination for science and technology. So when we go to a place like The Magic House and get to see kids faces light up in wonder as a machine twice their size throws a ball at them, it’s a really cool thing to be a part of.”

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