This past Saturday, over 700 elementary, middle, and high school students competed in Competition II of the 2013-2014 Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit (RARC) at the Bossier Civic Center.
RARC, now in its fifth competition year, is a series of three STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) competitions for students in grades 4-12.
The competitions build upon one another and allow students to work together in teams and compete against other students within their division in STEM and liberal arts challenges.
The RARC competitions are sponsored by the Cyber Innovation Center’s National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), the City of Bossier City, Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center, and Bossier Parish Schools.
Following the theme of this year’s competitions, teams battled one another in a series of Olympic challenges.
Elementary and middle school students competed in a robotic rugby challenge before entering the STEM Quiz Bowl. During the STEM Quiz Bowl, teams faced off against one another to answer grade-level STEM questions.
Prior to Competition II, these teams earned bonus points by submitting facts about the Olympics dating from 1920 to present day. High school teams, on the otherhand, programmed their boe-bots to autonomously launch a javelin and compete in a relay race.
Following these challenges, high school teams delivered technical presentations to a panel on theiroverall strategy for successfully accomplishing one of their mat challenges.
Paul Spivey, NICERC’s Deputy Director, explained how the competition has grown over the last several years, “In 2009, RARC began as an annual competition with approximately 13 participating schools and43 student teams. With the Cyber Innovation Center’s involvement, RARC has grown to include over 160teams with over 700 participating students. NICERC looks forward to offering RARC challenges to morestudents and schools as the competitions continue to grow!”
Throughout Competition II, teams accumulated points based on their performance and were ranked accordingly.
In the elementary division, Providence Classical Academy Team 1 emerged as the first place winner followed by South Highlands Team 1 in second place and South Highlands Team 5 in third place.
In the middle school division, Elm Grove Team 5 earned first place while Providence Classical Academy Team 4 and Newton Smith 6th Grade Center Team 1 took second and third place, respectively.
The first, second, and third place winners of the high school division were Louisiana New Tech at Plain Dealing Team 2, Southwood High School Team 1, and Louisiana School for Math Sciences and Arts Team 1, respectively.