Robotics class to offer physics and fun

CVHS will offer Engineering Robotics as a “test class” during the next school year. Bertram Pinsky, who currently teaches physics and chemistry, would teach the class.

“This class has been the goal of both myself and Mr. [Sean] Fottrell,” said Pinsky. “We intend it to be a hands-on class for students to learn physics, and we’ll structure that around using Legos and robots.”

Mindstorms, a programmable robotics kit made by Lego, would be the primary programming and building medium used in the class. However, Pinsky hopes to interface the robots with other equipment in the classroom. He also hopes to build more sophisticated robots as the class obtains more resources.

The class is being given serious consideration, chiefly due to the success of the CVHS Engineering and Robotics Club, which is headed by club president Lindsey Matheny and advised by Pinsky.

The club currently has about 15 members that meet every Wednesday to solve “challenges” given to them by Matheny.

“Every two weeks, club members start and complete a challenge,” explained Matheny. “For example, one challenge was to build a robot that would grab a ring off of a pole and place it onto a tic-tac-toe board.”

The club members also meet every Thursday to learn about different types of engineering.

The activities from the club would be taught in more detail to create the curriculum for the class.

“Different types of engineering would be taught in greater depth, and students would also learn about robotics with the robots that they build,” said Matheny.

The college prep class would be open to nearly anyone who desires to take it. Any sophomore, junior, or senior would be able to enroll in the class; the only prerequisite is passing Algebra 1.

As a first-year class, Pinsky expects a learning curve, but is optimistic about the class’s future.

“I have 30 years of experience in designing and research, but I’ll admit that some of these students are more knowledgeable about this than I am,” said Pinsky. “We’re all in here learning this together.”

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