ROARbotics is Broken Arrow Public Schools’ districtwide robotics program. Known as a branch of engineering that involves the conception, design, manufacture and operation of robots, the robotics program began as an extracurricular activity for elementary students in 2014, due to a $4,000 robotics grant from the Oklahoma State Department of Education. This money helped fund eight elementary Botball teams, which offered nearly 50 students the opportunity to learn how to write code and apply engineering design principles to solve competition challenges. Now, the ROARbotics program includes more than 200 team members from the elementary level to secondary level thanks to additional grants, corporate sponsorships and fundraisers. Each year, ROARbotics team members are chosen through an application process for three different levels of robotics, which include Botball, VEX robotics and FIRST robotics.
Botball Robots are autonomous, and there are no remote controls. Students learn to write code and apply engineering design principles to solve competition challenges. Learning to code at an early age increases student technological literacy. Coding teaches analytical thinking and problem solving skills and promotes creative problem solving.
VEX Robotics inspires students to become problem solvers. The VEX IQ and EDR systems harnesses the excitement of building robots to immerse learners in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Vex Robots are designed, engineered and programmed with autonomous and remote controls. In addition, VEX provides life skills like teamwork, project management and critical thinking.
FIRST Robotics means “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” and combines the excitement of a sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources and an intense six-week time limit, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors.
Team Progression at Broken Arrow Public Schools:
Botball – offered to students in grades 4 and 5
VEX and Botball – offered to middle school students
VEX – offered to Freshman Academy Students
VEX and FIRST – offered at Broken Arrow High School
For more information about the program, please contact BAPS STEM Specialist Emily Lim at 918-259-4700.