News & Events

Robotics Teams and Teens – It’s Not What You Think

Manchester, CT. November 19, 2019 - If you think robotics teams are reserved for the kids who win science fairs, you haven’t seen today’s robotics teams. Students on these teams are drawn to them because of their interest in everything from social media management to web design, photography, and graphic design. And yes, even the desire to build robots.

That’s the message that Barry Curcio and his wife Heather want to share with parents who might not think these teams are for their children. Barry and Heather are mentors and advisors to the Aetos Dios - Eagles of Zeus Robotics Team at East Catholic High School. The team participates in the FIRST Robotics Competition, an international high school robotics contest that gives students real-world engineering experience. The organization was founded by inventor Dean Kamen as a way to inspire future leaders and introduce a new set of skills including leadership and problem solving to students. Curcio believes participating in robotics can be a plus for many students, not just those who are passionate about science and math. “Just because you don’t build robots doesn’t mean you can’t be involved in FIRST,” he says.

Curcio says there are a wide variety of roles that students can take on, not just roles for people interested in STEM. “When kids sign up, they are asked what they would like to try,” he says. He outlined the benefits that all students can get from their involvement with this “sport of the mind.”

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