Fun + Engineering = Robotics

Challenging education does not always happen in the classroom. Our middle and upper school robotics teams are spectacular examples of how our students push themselves outside of the classroom, and have fun at the same time.

Mr. Allen, Bosque’s Robotics Program Director and Middle School Head Coach, believes that robotics is the perfect combination of exciting and challenging. He says, “It gives you that hands-on excitement of not just building something, but doing something with what you build.”

Every year, robotics teams at Bosque School compete in a VEX tournament. At the tournament, teams form an alliance with other groups and then compete against another alliance. Mr. Allen says this can spark an interesting dynamic, “One round you might be working with one team, and then the next round, you might be working against them.” This year’s game is called “Tower Takeover,” and it all takes place within a 12’ x 12’ arena. The goal of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by placing cubes in towers or scoring cubes in goals. You can read all about the rules of the game here.

Robotics teams at competitions are typically composed of 3–10 students. Mr. Allen shared, “I think teamwork is huge... the engineering process is huge. We’ve had teams go on and win competitions, but I’m not really worried about the win; it’s more about students learning the process.” He added, “The idea of designing something, then building your design, then seeing if your design works, and then tweaking from there—that’s the most important part of it.”
Our robotics extracurricular program started four years ago. It launched with a focus on Lego robotics and has progressed into VEX robotics. Currently, 25 students are on our robotics teams, in both the middle and upper school divisions.

It’s Mr. Allen’s first year as Program Director, but he has been involved since the start. Mr. Allen said his son, Myles ‘21, introduced him to robotics through his infatuation with Lego robotics that started when he was in elementary school. Tom says that Myles ‘21 has loved robots “since he could speak.” Even though it is Mr. Allen’s first time working in the robotics field, he has experience in many different aspects of STEM, including a degree in Environmental Engineering and a master’s in Education.

Mr. Allen encourages students who enjoy hands-on activities, puzzles, and problem-solving to see for themselves what robotics is all about and come to a meeting.

Middle school teams meet Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30–5:00 pm. Upper school meetings are at flexible times. Reach out to Mr. Allen for more information.