Penn State Harrisburg hosted the eighth annual South Central PA Robotics Competition Nov. 17, in the first floor hallway of the Educational Activities Building on campus.
This event is part of a larger initiative to interest high school student in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The competition partners high school students with student mentor volunteers from Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) and Penn State Harrisburg to complete a series of tasks. It is open to all students from all schools, including home-schooled students throughout the region. Participating students come from area schools, including Susquehanna Township High School, Bishop McDevitt High School, Middletown Area High School, Hershey High School, Commonwealth Charter Academy, Elizabethtown Area High School, Tuscarora High School, Cumberland-Perry Technical School, and Civil Air Patrol Squadron 306 cadets.
Contestants worked in teams of three high school students, plus a mentor from one of the participating colleges. Teams were presented with six tasks in robotic motion and control. Two of these tasks were open competitions, where teams can use any robotic attachments sensor they wish. The winning team had to program an educational robot to perform these tasks as quickly and precisely as possible. Unlike previous years, teams could be composed of student teams from the same school.
The event was jointly organized by HACC, Cumberland-Perry Technical School, and Penn State Harrisburg. The competition is sponsored by Civil Air Patrol Squadron 306, Johnson Controls, HACC, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Penn State Harrisburg, Phoenix Contact, and RG-Group.