Georgia Southern computer science professor judges robotics competition
Earlier this month, Georgia Southern University’s Robert Cook served as one of the judges for the Coastal Kids’ robotics competition in Savannah. The contest followed almost a year of planning and preparation for teams of middle school students from southeastern Georgia public, private or home schools.
‘The students were excited to compete,” said Cook, Yamacraw professor of computer science in the College of Information Technology. ‘It was wonderful to see them demonstrate what they’ve learned in preparing for the contest.”
The Savannah competition is a qualifying event for the FIRST Lego League (FLL) international competition, said Cook. The two winning teams from Savannah advanced to the state competition being held Jan. 20 in Atlanta.
Cook has used LEGO robotics kits as a teaching tool for many years. He said he hopes next year’s contest includes teams from Bulloch and other surrounding counties.
‘Middle school teachers interested in competing next year should start planning now,” Cook said. ‘The kits used in the competition cost around $600, but they are great resources that provide many activities to enhance science and math curricula. In addition, as students prepare for the contest they learn how to work as teams to come up with creative solutions to problems.”
Cook said the kits change each year to reflect the theme of the contest; the FLL unveils its new competition challenge in September. This year’s contest focused on nanotechnology matter that is thousands of times smaller than human hair.
‘I would be happy to talk with any teacher public, private or home school about how to obtain the LEGO robotics kit and how to get involved with the competitions,” said Cook. ‘Technology impacts virtually every industry. It is vitally important for students to have an understanding of science and math; the robotics kits are a great way to get kids excited about these subjects.”
To contact Cook, e-mail email@example.com or call 912-681-0892.