The majority of our Curriculum focuses on the education of members in the development of Software, Electronics, and overall construction of the robots. We primarily use Parallax boards for first-years, which is encoded with a proprietary form of BASIC, called PBASIC. Throughout the year, students will learn how to call logic statements, set up counters, prepare and call variables, and use sensors on their robot. Older members are encouraged to use whatever feels best to them, and have a degree of freedom when it comes to deciding on what software and hardware they want to use.
New members will also learn how to design and build simple circuits using Parallax's Board of Education Bot, or BOE-Bot for short. The BOE-Bot features a plug-and-play wiring platform for easy assembly of circuits, and has sixteen programmable pins that allow for a variety of mechanics.
Finally, members will be allowed to choose at least one project for the National Robotics Challenge held near the beginning of April. Members usually choose to either design a robot for Tactile or Non-Tactile Maze, Hockey (this is done in pairs), Mini-Sumo, or Sumo although they are free to choose as many projects as they want from the many competitions featured in the National Robotics Challenge. Each of the divisions offers a different challenge and encourages thinking outside the box.
Towards the beginning of April every year, we head out to the National Robotics Challenge in Marion, Ohio. This four day trip is the culmination of all we work toward every year. We have many entries every year, and generally bring back quite a few top three awards.
As the stress associated with school begins to fray the members' nerves, we find that an outing is appropriate to help members relax and have fun for a few hours during the first semester. Sometime during the Fall, we will choose an activity such as Lazer tagging, Paintballing, Trampoline Dodgeball, or Go-Karting.
Additionally, the last week of each semester is Movie Night, where we watch a robotics related movie. The only requirement is that the movie must use a robot as a character or element in the movie. We have previously watched movies such as Big Hero 6, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, and Forbidden Planet.