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NY 4-H shows off robotics in Albany and Binghamton

April 18, 2013

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President Skorton taking the Otsego County team's robot for a spin

National 4-H has developed a comprehensive robotics program to inspire young people and develop an early interest in robotics engineering and technology. 4-H Robotics is delivered through 4-H clubs, camps, school enrichment, and after-school programs nationwide.

New York 4-H has received a three-year grant enabling the program to engage Roger Ort (Schuyler County CCE) as a part-time 4-H state robotics specialist. This spring Ort is offering workshops for county 4-H educators and volunteers to build capacity to offer robotics project to the youngest 4-H members (grades K-3). New York 4-H also offeres Robotics Challenge events at the New York State Fair and has many 4-H FIRST Robotics teams (who attend competitive events), and robotics projects in after-school programs, camps, and clubs. Two recent events in Albany and Binghamton are examples of New York state 4-H Robotics programs in action.

In Albany, at events commemorating 150th anniversary of Cornell's state land-grant institution status, the Otsego County 4-H FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) team demonstrated a robot constructed for the 2013 challenge, Ultimate Ascent. The FRC team let Cornell President David Skorton take their robot for a spin in the halls of the state capital. Every year FRC teams are presented with a new challenge for which they construct a robot. Ultimate Ascent required FRC teams to design and build a robot that would score discs on pyramid-shaped goals, and then climb the goal structure at the end of the game. Last year the Otsego County FRC team of high school students traveled to St. Louis for the national FIRST competition.

Broome County 4-H campers making robots

The Broome County 4-H Robotics Camp was held during the recent school spring break. Campers visited the da Vinci® Robotic Surgery Program at Lourdes Hospital to see how surgeons use state-of-the-art robotics to guide less invasive surgery and laparoscopy. They also attended a demonstration of underwater robots by the Broome County Water Rescue and Dive Team, who use the robots during police and emergency response team water rescues and investigations. The underwater robots were in action at the Binghamton YMCA pool. Campers also broke into groups and constructed robots themselves, using their creations to move around spaces and then pick up objects.

Coverage of Broome County 4-H Robotics events:

Robotics Camp for spring break keeps local kids wired - Video

4-H Reboot: From farm animals to robots - Video

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