Teams to compete in RARC competition this Saturday

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Amanda Simmons/Press-Tribune | Students from T.O. Rusheon Middle School prepare their programmed robot for competition.

Over 200 elementary, middle, and high school teams have registered to compete in the final Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit (RARC) competition of the 2015-2016 school year this Saturday, April 30, 2016, at the Bossier Civic Center.

Public, private, and charter schools and homeschool and afterschool programs in Bossier, Caddo, Lincoln, Livingston, Natchitoches, Richland, Sabine, and Webster Parishes and Miller and Union Counties, 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 cyber, 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, Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center, Bossier Parish Schools, and Caddo Parish Schools.

The theme for the 2015-2016 RARC competitions is Exploring the Wonders of the World. The challenges require the teams to crisscross a competition mat that resembles a world map, learn about the wonders of the world, and accomplish tasks related to each wonder. Competition 3 also includes a mystery challenge that will be revealed during the competition and that requires elementary and middle school teams to use their programming, teamwork, and communication skills to accomplish tasks without the aid of their coaches.

Elementary school teams will compete in the morning beginning at 8:00 a.m. and will receive their competition and grand champion awards at approximately 11:00 a.m. The middle and high school divisions will begin their challenges at 12:00 p.m. with competition and grand champion winners announced at approximately 3:30 p.m. The competition is open to the public.

To learn more about RARC, please visit http://nicerc.org/rarc/rarcla/.