Special Olympics Unified Robotics™ conference April 21, 2017 in Houston, TX
Seattle, WA – April 11, 2017 – FRC Team 4911 CyberKnights, a robotics team from King’s High School, is proud to announce they will be leading a conference on Special Olympics Unified Robotics at the FIRST Robotics World Championships in Houston, TX.
This session will introduce Special Olympics Unified Robotics, a robotics program for students with and without special needs, to FIRST Robotics teams from around the world. The session will demonstrate how Unified Robotics helps bridge the achievement gap by empowering students with special needs to participate in robotics, to be involved in a STEM program, and to develop important life skills including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
Special Olympics Unified Robotics was started by a member of the CyberKnights who was inspired by her sister with autism. She recognized that students with special needs often have constrained access to engineering and programming classes because of staff support requirements and significant modifications. Unified Robotics is an unprecedented accepting and hands-on way to introduce these students to STEM concepts.
“By offering this club to a diverse population of students, we can broaden their interests and experiences in STEM-related activities, as well as teach them basic life and job skills that will open more doors in their futures,” said Noelle Foster, CyberKnights mentor. “In addition to introducing programming and engineering concepts to a population of students not typically engaged in these areas, Unified Robotics is an educational and leadership experience for every student involved.”
Conference attendees will learn:
- The importance of Unified Robotics
- How to start a Unified Robotics program at their school
- How to fund the program
- Marketing and public relationships
- Recruiting tips
- The personal impact it has made on past participants
“Our goal is to expand Unified Robotics so that every high school student has access to robotics,” said Mike Thompson, CyberKnights coach and King’s High School teacher. “We wish to share our experiences and spread awareness of the importance of this program with FIRST Robotics teams everywhere. We will provide support and instruction on how to start this program at other schools. Participants will learn how this program is beneficial and impactful for all members involved.”
The conference will be held in Houston, TX on Friday, April 21 from 3:00 – 4:00 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in room 370 B/C. The session will be led by a panel of students, mentors, and coaches impacted by Unified Robotics including Mike Thompson, Noelle Foster and students Jane Yi, Joanne Yi, Laurie Machida, Eneya Kwesele, Madeleine Schwitters, and Eva Lu.
Join us to empower students of all abilities and learn how to change lives within your own schools and communities.
You can learn more about the CyberKnights on their website: cyberknights4911.com
You can learn more about Special Olympics Unified Robotics on their website: unifiedrobotics.org
You can learn more about FIRST on their website: firstinspires.org
The CyberKnights seek to inspire an interest and passion for science and technology while preparing students to become industry leaders in tomorrow’s competitive global marketplace.
The King’s High School’s award-winning robotics program serves as an educational community within King’s Schools as well as FIRST ® Robotics. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization that seeks to further education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields and provide an environment in which students can grow academically and acquire skills vital to their professional development such as an exceptional work ethic and problem-solving skills.
The CyberKnights serve as the founding team of King’s Robotics, a group of FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST Lego League, and FIRST Lego League Jr. teams. In its endeavor to successfully embody FIRST values and goals, the CyberKnights seek to create a team culture that sustains their community for years to come. From team recruitment, developing student leaders, maintaining a gender-equal team, serving as FIRST ambassadors in outreach, collaborating with each other in a student-lead environment and asking corporations to support them as the next generation of leaders, the CyberKnights strive to be an organization of people impacting the world for FIRST.
Starting in 2009 in FIRST Tech Challenge with eight students, the CyberKnights have inspired over 10% of the K-12 students to participate in FIRST programs. CyberKnights Alumni have gone on to pursue fields in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and return to invest in the program as mentors for the current team. The team continues to develop its members in leadership, collaboration, and communication skills.