The Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit (RARC) started the 2012-2013 school year with record participation.
Saturday, Sept. 29, over 120 elementary, middle, and high school teams from across the region competed in the first RARC competition at the Bossier Civic Center. RARC is a series of four competitions held throughout the school year for students in grades 4-12 that focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fundamentals, 21st Century Skills, and the liberal arts.
The competitions are made possible by the Cyber Innovation Center’s National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), Bossier Parish Schools, the City of Bossier City, and Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center.
Competition I was broken into three divisions - elementary, middle, and high school – in which student-led teams competed in a variety of STEM challenges. The STEM challenges included robotic programming for optimal drag-racing speed and tractor-pulling force. Based on early morning time trials, teams were pitted against one another in a double elimination bracket. In addition to the STEM challenges, the competition had a liberal arts component.
“The number of participating teams at the competitions has increased by over 65% this year to the point that we now have approximately 500 students at one competition!” shared Paul Spivey, NICERC Academic Outreach Coordinator.
Throughout the day, teams earned points based on their performance and were ranked accordingly. Kerr Elementary emerged as the first place winner in the elementary division followed by W.T. Lewis Elementary #5 in second place and Waller Elementary #4 in third place. In the middle school division, Greenacres Middle #3 earned first place while Greenacres Middle #2 and Plain Dealing #1 took second and third place, respectively. The first, second, and third place winners of the high school division were Parkway High, Southwood High #1, and Benton High #1, respectively. At the conclusion of the fourth and final competition in May 2013, grand champions in each division will be named based on the accumulated points from all four competitions, and those teams will receive awards in recognition of their excellence.