Not too long ago, the Broward Education Foundation announced that it received a $5,000 grant from Motorola Solutions Foundation which will fund South Broward High School’s Urban Search and Rescue Robotics class.
The generous grant will allow the project to teach students to learn how to design, build, program, and use a robot to assist law enforcement and fire rescue in performance of their duties. Students will have to work together to understand the mechanics of robotics and simple machines, and its practical uses in solving problems involving public safety including search and recovery operations. Ultimately, the students will compete with classmates to create and use the robot to collect data and provide real-time information in a public safety scenario.
“Students will use engineering software to design the robot and design specific components for the urban search and rescue mission using CAD. Students will physically construct their robots and then students will learn how to program a microprocessor (robotic brain) to control the robot using C++,” explained Joseph C. Kelly, South Broward High School Science Teacher. “By learning Autodesk Inventor, Fusion 360 and AutoCAD Certified User students will be equipped with marketable 2D and 3D design skills by teaching them to use state-of-the-art Autodesk design software. As an Autodesk Certified User, students have the skills necessary to continue their design careers, whether they attend college, enter the workforce or work toward additional levels of industry certification after graduation.”
As a result of a partnership with the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO), students in grades 9-12 engineering classes will have the opportunity to spend the day with the BSO officers to observe how robots and drones are used in law enforcement operations. This project will assist Broward Sheriff’s Office’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team. The robot will provide tools to help investigate crime scenes and search, recovery of evidence.
Students will also visit Wärtsilä North America for a demonstration of the engineering design process. Mr. Schreiber from Wärtsilä will work with students and advise them on designing and constructing their robots.
“This project targets females in STEM, especially those in the Engineering classes. Females are very under-represented in STEM careers especially in the technology and engineering fields. They make up only 29% of the science and engineering workforce nationwide. When looking at students taking Computer and Engineering courses in our school district, approximately only 20% are females,” added Kelly.