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South Charleston Robotics Club makes learning fun in high-tech way

South Charleston High School's Robotics Club is making strides in the classroom and in competition. (WCHS/WVAH photo)

Football isn't the only thing South Charleston High School is excelling at. One club there is hands on in a high-tech way.

Robotics is gaining popularity among high school students, and for students at South Charleston, it’s a way to make learning fun.

The robotics club has grown a lot since it first began three years ago.

"I wanted to share my enthusiasm with all the students here, so we started the Vex Robotics Program. We also have Cube Set Program, and a Pulsar and Zero Robotics Program,” computer science teacher Joseph Oliver said.

Through grant money, the club is able to provide these four different programs. Oliver teaches computer science, and said working with robotics allows the students to put what they learn into practice.

“They're able to take the knowledge that they learn and do hands on activities, so it's problem solving, and it's just a continuation of the classroom,” Oliver said.

For many students, what they learn in Robotics Club will help them beyond their high school years.

"It kind of gives me some skills to start out with, to maybe explore some new things in the stem field," student Shannon Joins said.

And they even learn how to work as a team.

"It's the older kids teaching the younger one, and hopefully we'll have that stair-step so they will keep building on it. I'm ecstatic that we have so many students involved in it,” Oliver said.

"It’s easier for us to work together, so teamwork is a lot easier. We don't have to worry about spending time to get to know each other. We already know each other. We know the expectations. We know what we're best at and what we are not. So, it's easiest just to collaborate that way,” student Michael Blessent said.

The team has already made several accomplishments, winning competitions locally and internationally, but they expect this year to be the most successful yet.

“I get a lot of joy out of it. It's great to see the light bulb come on, and the students just be like 'wow this is cool',” Oliver said.

The robotics team has already begun preparing for the three competitions coming up this semester.

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