Youth and Robots Rumble in New Style Competition

The Harmony Schools, NASA Johnson Space Center and CORE (Coordination of Robotics Education) of the University of Houston, College of Technology collaborated to present Robot Rumble.

Held as part of the ISWEEP (International Sustainable World Energy Engineering Environment Project Olympiad,) at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Robot Rumble is a unique robotics competition pairing robot teams into alliances that must strategize to push their competition off the playing field. On Friday, May 10, twenty-four middle school level teams came from as far away as Mississippi to test their robots in competitive play.

Robot Rumble is the brainchild of Melanie Kern, who teaches technology and robotics at Harmony High School. Fall and spring tournaments are planned for coming years. Karen Cohen, director of the CORE program at UH, said the program is different from other similar competitions.

"Other robotics tournaments at this grade level normally pit a team's robot against the clock for points," Cohen said. "Robot Rumble is innovative in that it requires teams to work together for a common goal. In real life, we are constantly required to work with other people. I believe it is better for students to learn this skill early. This partnership brings a new style of robotics competition to kids in Texas."

Harmony Schools are college preparatory charter schools. A strong emphasis is placed on mathematics, science, and computer applications on our campuses. An exceptionally high quality education is being delivered to nearly 15,000 students at 40 campuses, grades Pre-K through 12.

CORE/UH: www.core.tech.uh.edu

ISWEEP: www.isweep.org

Harmony Schools: www.harmonytx.org

Robot Rumble: www.harmonyearly.org