27 Feb 2017


Help the Payne Robotics Club go to the VEX IQ WORLDS Challenge!

    The Payne Robotics club with teacher Shanita Henson. Photo by María Helena Carey

Back at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, Shanita Henson, a science teacher at Payne Elementary School, agreed to head an after-school robotics club at the school. DCPS obtained several VEX robotics kits, and thanks to parent involvement, Payne was one of the schools that received said kit.

The robotics club was to be a great way to get third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students motivated about science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to pass the time after school two days a week. The kids had fun learning about engineering and its practical applications and worked hard on their robot: a success story for a small club with no budget.

But Ms. Henson and her team were bowled over when the Robotics Club entered the DC VEX IQ Challenge this past fall and WON the elementary school excellence award!!! This win qualified them to attend the 2017 VEX IQ WORLDS challenge in the elementary school division, taking place April 23-25 in Louisville, Kentucky. Not only did the kids work well together creating a robot that can successfully grasp objects and place them, but they also learned and can eloquently explain the reasons why robotics is not just fun with moving toys; it can change the lives of people with missing limbs or with autism.

The Payne Robotics club needs financial assistance to help cover the expenses associated with lodging, travel, and a new robotics kit for competition. For this reason, the Payne Elementary PTA has created a GoFundMe fundraiser, to which you can donate by clicking here: https://www.gofundme.com/paynebooksandrobots. (The GoFundMe also asks for library books for Payne for grades 4 and 5. Make sure you check it out!)

If you want to see a short video of the robot in action, scroll down or head over to our Facebook or Instagram.

We are rooting for you, Payne Wildcats!!

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