By Madeline Carino
Meridian Times staff writer
Four years ago, the Haslett Robotics Club consisted of one LEGO robotics team. Today, there are four LEGO teams plus three VEX teams. The robotics club is considered a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program.
LEGO participants are typically between ages 9 to 14, and these students work with graphical programming. LEGO teams compete in two or three tournaments throughout the year. For the tournaments, they must program their robots and make a presentation that analyzes how a social issue can be solved using technology. The robots, constructed with LEGO, can be held in one’s hand. Teams are judged on teamwork and the technical skill used for the design of their robot.
VEX teams are more advanced and geared towards middle and high school students. These teams work with more professional programming languages. The VEX robots are made of metal and decorated with gears, wires and motors. These accessories make the VEX robots look industrial. The robots, guided with a remote control, compete in a larger arena. In VEX competitions, each team collaborates with another to compete against two opposing teams.