Over the weekend, Beaumont School’s varsity robotics team traveled to Chicago, Illinois to display and demonstrate their robot at the International Manufacturing Technology Summit (IMTS) and SmartForce Student Summit. We were invited by Maureen Carruthers of the National Robotics League to this biannual conference that showcases the latest technological advances in the field of manufacturing. Companies from around the world exhibited their newest products and processes. Operating in conjunction with professionals, SmartForce Student Summit exposed students of all ages to potential STEM careers in manufacturing.
After we arrived at McCormick Place, we were amazed by all that we saw. We were gratified to recognize technologies that we had used before, as well as intrigued by new and innovative machinery. Maureen enthusiastically greeted us at the National Robotics League booth. We quickly situated our equipment and took a few minutes to explore what the summit had to offer. Walking from booth to booth, we talked to students and professionals from different organizations. One student from Northern Illinois University explained the unique structure of his autonomous robot’s wheels which allowed it to move precisely in any direction. As we explored the FIRST Robotics station, a female reporter asked to take our photo to represent the “girl power” present at the summit.
We returned to the NRL booth to begin a demonstration of our robot. We plugged in our newly charged battery, replaced screws, and set Alexander the Great into the safety cage. The sound of our weapon in action attracted a large crowd. We answered their questions and encouraged them to learn more about combat robotics and the NRL.
Ultimately, we had a memorable day. We noticed that the vast majority of the participants were male. Despite this fact, we felt no hesitation in exploring and engaging in all activities. Today, we were definitely in the minority. Perhaps, in a few years, this will no longer be the case.
Written by Beaumont students Alyssa Muttillo, Julie Schiffer, and Ana Maria Vargas
Posted on Thu, September 18, 2014
by General Admin