150 Teams to Compete in 2018 C-STEM RoboPlay Challenge

The University of California Davis will host the 2018 C-STEM Center RoboPlay Challenge Competition, an event that will cap a year of STEM education for elementary, middle and high school students, later this month.

The event is for students who have been taking classes through the university's Center for Integrated Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM), where they've worked with robots to learn programming, algebra and other mathematics. More than 150 teams will participate this year, with 120 taking part on the UC Davis campus and 35 attending in Irvine, CA. The theme of this year's competition is manufacturing and automation.

Students have also been invited to submit videos for the RoboPlay Video Competition, which asks students to show off their creativity, writing and video production skills with short movies featuring programmable robots. That competition has received 91 entries.

The C-STEM curriculum is in use across the country and is designed to help students who have struggled in conventional STEM classes and to help close the achievement gap.

"Focused on integrating computing and robotics into regular STEM classroom with hands-on project-based learning, the C-STEM Center has developed innovative computing and robotics technologies with C-STEM Studio and RoboBlockly, teaching strategies, textbooks and courseware including lesson plans, PowerPoint lessons, video lessons, group computing activities, optional robotics activities and assessment tools for readily integration of computer programming in C/C++ using Ch (a user-friendly C/C++ interpreter Ch) and robotics into the formal curricula in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges," according to information on the center's site.

In related news, the center will also host the Girls in Robotics Leadership (GIRL) camps for students in middle schools. The one-week camps are free to attend and will be held at eight locations in Northern California and two in Cincinnati, OH. The center will also pilot a GIRL+ camp for girls in high school this summer.

More information is available at c-stem.ucdavis.edu.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.