Area elementary- and middle-school students compete in the second Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit competition in winter 2018. (Courtesy photo)

Approximately 200 elementary, middle, and high school teams have registered to compete in the 2017-2018 Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit (RARC) Competition 2 this Saturday at the Bossier Civic Center. Public and private schools as well as after-school programs in Bossier, Caddo, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Sabine and Webster parishes and Miller and Union counties in Arkansas will be represented.

RARC is a series of three cyber and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) competitions for students in grades 3-12. The competitions build upon one another and allow teams to showcase their STEM and 21st Century skills by competing against other teams within their division.

Liberal arts lessons are also integrated to provide a context for the content. The competitions are sponsored by the Cyber Innovation Center’s National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), the City of Bossier City, Bossier Parish Schools, and Caddo Parish Schools.

This year’s theme is Small Wonders, Big Possibilities. The teams will explore concepts like chemistry, genetics, neuroscience and, of course, robotics while participating in challenges on a competition mat designed to look like a laboratory. Additionally, the Biomedical Engineering department and the Neuronal Networks in Epilepsy and Memory (NeuroNEM) team of Louisiana Tech University will offer a presentation called “The Human Brain at Work” and hands-on experiments for the teams and spectators prior to each awards ceremony.

Elementary school teams will compete in the morning beginning at 8 a.m. and will receive their awards at approximately 11:15 a.m. The middle and high school divisions will begin at noon with winners announced at approximately 3:45 p.m. The competition is open to the public and media.

To learn more about RARC, please visit http://nicerc.org/rarc/ or www.facebook.com/CIC.NICERC.