Tech

December 7, 2012

Antelope Valley robotics teams helping seniors

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Linda KC Reynolds
staff writer


Jedi Masters, Titanium Tigers, Panthers, F-22 Raptorbots and other robotic teams gathered at Joe Walker Middle school in Quartz Hill, Calif., to participate in the 3rd Annual AV Techno Classic LEGO Tournament. The 2012 theme was ëSenior Solutions: Independent. Engaged. Connected.

First Lego League is a robotics program designed to excite students 9 to 14 year olds about science and technology, and teach them valuable employment and life skills.

Students interviewed senior citizens to see what challenges they face and came up with solutions to make daily living easier. A ìmedi watchî will take a patientís blood pressure and other vital readings and remind them when to take their medication. If they forget, the watch will send a message to their caregiver. The Vikings from Valley View Elementary School came up with the idea because some of their grandparents forget their medication.

ìI would like to be an engineer and invent things that could help people in everyday life,î said fourth grader Cameron Mc Allister. ìLike a battery in a lightweight box that could charge a car or whatever someone needed.

Phiíd Back, a Christian-based home school team interviewed an elderly gentleman that cut his finger and had trouble applying a bandage with only one hand. The group came up with a liquid bandage that had a flip top that could be applied with one hand.

Master of ceremonies Alex Kahn has been involved in robotics for the past two years. A senior at Quartz Hill, Kahn is on the Lancaster robotics team under head adviser David Voracek who works for NASAs Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, Calif.

NASA is one of the teamís supporters and provides sponsorships and registration fees. ìNASA even helps us fabricate some of our robot parts,î said Kahn. ìThey are outstanding supporters.î Throughout school, Kahn tried every type of sport and but nothing really clicked. Then I found out about the robotics team and my only regret is that I didnít know about it sooner.î He would like to be a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur specializing in weaponry.

The Lego organization has more than 20,000 teams from 70 countries and offers more than $16 million in college scholarships.




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