UNR’s Wolf Pack Bots construct literacy abilities by way of robotics
Coding and Robotics

UNR’s Wolf Pack Bots construct literacy abilities by way of robotics

On a latest Saturday morning, the Wolf Pack Bots are tuning up their robots and preparing for his or her first match of the day within the First LEGO League Northern Nevada qualifying competitors at Mendive Center College in Sparks. The six Latinx fourth by way of eighth grade college students go to completely different faculties throughout the Truckee Meadows, however they’re all part of Dr. Rachel Salas’ literacy tutoring program on the College of Nevada, Reno.

First LEGO League competitions require groups to construct and program robots roughly the dimensions of a shoe to carry out particular duties. This yr, the theme of the competitors was vitality manufacturing, so groups had been tasked with creating robots that might acquire vitality cells from quite a lot of miniature energy sources, like wind generators.

A crowd of people sits on the bleachers of a gym.

Jose Davila IV


KUNR Public Radio

The robotics rivals collect for the opening ceremony of the Northern Nevada First LEGO League qualifier on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, at Mendive Center College in Sparks, Nev.

Salas, the director of UNR’s E.L. Twine Basis Heart for Studying and Literacy, says the robotics program is a approach for college kids to construct their literacy abilities.

“College students are studying tips on how to program and the programming is named phrase block, or Scratch, and there’s language concerned in it,” she stated. “They’ve to have the ability to learn it and to have the ability to perceive it to program the robotic. The analysis part of the First LEGO League, completely, is useful to their studying abilities, researching abilities, writing abilities and communication abilities.”

The competitors additionally features a analysis undertaking that requires the scholars to design an answer to an issue they see on the planet associated to the vitality theme.

This yr, the Wolf Pack Bots designed a solar-powered vest able to heating or cooling its wearer and even created a prototype with thermal insulation and versatile photo voltaic panels on the again. The scholars got here up with the concept after researching how farmworkers threat heatstroke within the fields and studying of the continuing Russian assaults on Ukrainian vitality infrastructure which might be leaving civilians prone to freezing to dying.

The Wolf Pack Bots introduced the vest to a pair of judges as part of the competitors. Rossie Copado Reyes, a seventh grader at Clayton Center College in Reno, thinks the presentation, which featured a artistic “Shark Tank”-style skit, went effectively.

“It went very well. I feel so, ‘trigger the judges, they gave us some actually good suggestions. They stated it was good and to simply current it to extra folks,” she shared.

Six kids stand behind posterboards and present to two seated adults who are dressed in red with their backs to the camera.

Jose Davila IV


KUNR Public Radio

The Wolf Pack Bots current their robotic design to a pair of judges on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, at Mendive Center College in Sparks, Nev.

She was proper on, as a result of the Wolf Pack Bots would later be taught that they received first place within the competitors for his or her vest and presentation.

After the presentation, the crew competed in three matches with a aim of accumulating as many factors as attainable in every by finishing duties with their robots. In between matches, they’re allowed to change out robots and repair any issues with those utilized in earlier matches. On the Mendive competitors, the Wolf Pack Bots had three robots.

Staff member and St. Albert the Nice Catholic College sixth grader Paloma Chavez supplied some evaluation after the Bots’ first match of the competitors.

“I really feel just like the robots did actually good at the moment, however on one of many packages, we have to kinda determine one thing out as a result of it kinda simply missed,” she stated.

Two girls smile towrd the camera in front of a robotics competition table.

Jose Davila IV


KUNR Public Radio

Paloma Chavez (left) and Rossie Copado Reyes smile for the digital camera forward of their first match on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, at Mendive Center College in Sparks, Nev.

The crew improved upon its first rating within the third match and was invited to the Northern Nevada championship in February.

However there may be extra than simply the competitors facet. Schooling research undergraduate scholar and program coach Viviana Reyes stated this system provides the scholars an opportunity to enhance their vocabularies and develop their data of the world.

“It’s invaluable as a result of we now have children concerned with doing one thing they’re not solely [in], however they’re additionally increasing their vocabulary and studying and discovering new issues that, perhaps, in the event that they weren’t within the crew, they wouldn’t have the possibility to do it. That’s what I like about it,” she shared.

Reyes additionally occurs to be Rossie’s mother. She says her daughter has turn out to be extra comfy with talking publicly and creating PowerPoint shows for varsity since becoming a member of the Wolf Pack Bots.

Reyes and Salas additionally stated that, outdoors of literacy, programming and teamwork abilities it builds, this system additionally helps college students see themselves on a university campus and in future STEM-related careers.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Venture.

As a observe of disclosure, the Nevada System of Increased Schooling Board of Regents owns the license to this station.