Zero Robotics: "Empower Wicomico" Crowned National Champs!
Empower Wicomico: 2014 Zero Robotics Middle School National Champions!
How can a small group of middle schoolers from Wicomico County, Maryland end up being recognized as national champions while being face-to-face with astronauts stationed at the International Space Station? ZERO ROBOTICS makes it happen…
This year, MOST coordinated the first middle school chapter of Zero Robotics in Maryland. Zero Robotics is a national STEM curriculum sponsored by MIT, NASA, and the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership. The rigorous curriculum takes place over 5 weeks in the summer. The goal of the challenge is to code satellites that operate in zero gravity aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Four teams registered in the state: EBLO @ Armistead Gardens (Baltimore), Power Project @ St. Francis Neighborhood Center (Baltimore), Empower Wicomico (Salisbury), and Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater DC @ Jellef Community Center (DC).
On Friday, August 15th, the Empower Wicomico Zero Robotics team represented Maryland against 9 teams from across the nation in the Zero Robotics ISS Finals. The 9 states sent their best team’s code live via WebEx to astronauts aboard the ISS, and Maryland won!!!!!!! Through a round robin tournament, the code Wicomico submitted was the best in the country, and for their efforts, the youth of Empower Wicomico were crowned NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!
About 40 middle schoolers across the state were able to compete in the Zero Robotics curriculum this summer. Hopefully it piqued their interest in STEM education and careers, and given the success of this year, more programs will provide their students with cutting-edge STEM opportunities.
MOST is looking forward to advancing the program and keeping Maryland as the National Champions for next year! For more information on Zero Robotics, contact our STEM Program Coordinator and Americorps VISTA, Sarah Brandt at firstname.lastname@example.org.