Nampa School District’s robotics team, named NASKCO (for
Nampa, Skyview and Columbia high schools), is currently at the Maverik Center
in West Valley, Utah, for the Utah FIRST Robotics competition, which began Friday, March 10.
The team is led by advisor John Schisel, a teacher at Columbia. The
students will compete with a robot they spent six weeks designing and building.
FIRST Robotics unveils each year’s challenge at the same time nationwide, and
students have a short window of time to design a robot to meet specific
Using math, science and engineering skills, the students
designed steampunk-inspired robots to prepare long distance airships for a
race. Robots must lob "fuel cells" into
a mock steam boiler to build enough fuel to operate a simulated steam-powered
airship. Meanwhile, robots also must transport giant gears to the airship to
engage the ship’s propellers. Finally, teams must hoist the robots to their
hovering airship to complete the round.
Students benefit by getting to use the skills learned in
class in a practical application, which reinforces the need to succeed in
school in order to pursue STEM careers. When they return to Nampa, they will
begin preparations for the Idaho Regional FIRST Robotics competition held at
Boise State March 30-April 1.