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I, robot builder

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Central Hardin students share robotics lessons with West Hardin

By Kelly Cantrall

A raucous din filled the gym Thursday at West Hardin Middle School as nationally recognized Central Hardin High School students showed off their heavy metal mastery.

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Cheering seventh-graders looked on as high schoolers maneuvered a remote-operated robot through its work of loading and dumping cargo.

The seventh-graders are studying robotics in science class as part of newly-adopted education standards, science teacher Leslie Meredith said. When Meredith learned several Central Hardin students placed in the top 20 at a national Technology Student Association competition, she wanted them to share their knowledge with West Hardin’s students.

Robot studies for middle-schoolers include learning the automatons’ functions and designing their own through drawings. West Hardin students are learning about functions robots perform and are designing their own in drawings. Central Hardin’s exhibition provided real-life exposure, Meredith said.

West Hardin student Liam Dale said it was exciting to learn about robots, as he has pursued the interest in previous camps. West Hardin student Alex Deweese said the high school students’ robots were amazing.

“I’ve always liked things like technology and mechanics, so this is perfect,” he said.

West Hardin student Mariah Kendell also was impressed with the robots. Each student had an opportunity to drive one and attempt to pick up bean bags and deposit them in a trough. This was a task Central Hardin students undertook in competition.

Junior Austin Basham volunteered to assist in the presentation, which discussed the technology association as well as pre-engineering courses at the high school.

“They’re future TSA (members),” he said of the West Hardin students, “so we need to establish our future in it.”

Meredith also hoped some of her students would work with the programs once they enter high school.

“It’s something that I hope sparks their interest now,” she said. 

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at 270-505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.