A virtual Viking Colt Robotics meeting over Google Meets. Club meetings such as this are where advisors help teach incoming 8th graders about component design and other engineering skills, as well as helping other club members with their design process.
The novel coronavirus SARS CoV-2, or COVID-19 for short, led to school closures across the country in early March. In fact, Lake Stevens School District closed schools just the week after the VEX Washington State Championship tournaments for middle and high school students. Students involved with Viking Colt robotics didn't even get a chance to dismantle their robots before the closures, but despite the major setback of not being able to work in person, Lake Stevens Robotics evolved to be able to continue in these tumultuous times. While continuing to follow state and district guidelines, students involved with the club are able to build robots together over Google Meets and other virtual forms of contact. If you are interested in joining the club virtually, contact an advisor for the meeting link.
For parents, students, or any one who would like to know more about how Viking Colt Robotics is socially distancing during COVID-19, watch this uploaded recording of a Parent Information Meeting in which the advisors present a condensed version of the communication and checkout process for materials.
Check Out Process
Students in Lake Stevens Robotics have to go through several steps in order to gain access to materials to start building their robot to ensure the greatest chances for success. Before club memebers even get to think about picking up their robot, individual teams have to work together to create an engineering notebook that includes documentation of their team and of the rules, in-depth strategies of gameplay, and preliminary designs of their chassis and intake/delivery systems sketched out and explained. After they have a meeting with an advisor to verify they are ready, team members have to fill out a contract with their parents stating they will respect social distancing guidelines, as well as taking responsibility for any lost parts. Since teams must stay socially distanced, teams must designate one person to build the robot, or split the build into modules that can be fit together. The designated builder then goes to Cavelero Mid-High to pick up the robot, at which part they start gathering documentation for an extensive slideshow showcasing a complete inventory of the robot and materials.
Post Check Out
After a team has their robot checked out, the advisors check in regularly to make sure the team is having no problems with their design process or building. The other students on the team that are unable to build the robot will help document the process through sketches, help code, or participate in online challenges. If the designated builder runs out a material, they can email an advisor, who will package the necessary items and put them in the office at Cavelero for the student to pick up. This way everyone can stay healthy and socially distanced while still being able to participate in robotics.