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Their spectators were a bit different than their usual audience. Last week, participants of Roaring Robotics, Team 2704, visited GreenFields of Geneva. While the high-tech students are often sought after by youth groups, this is the first time that their presence was requested by seniors living at a retirement community.
With the objective of providing opportunities in science and technology to area high school students, Roaring Robotics is a competition program. They are based out of Batavia and meet at Make-It-Here in Downers Grove. Under the guidance of adult mentors, the kids ages 13-18, design, build, and program robots for approximately four competitions each year. The team brought Q-Bert, their 117 pound, seven-foot-tall robot for the 2018 competition season, with them to GreenFields.
The life enrichment team at GreenFields had reached out to Roaring Robotics earlier this spring to see if they’d maybe like to show off their work for the residents at the retirement community. “Many of our residents really like technology and electronics and seeing what’s new and different in the world,” said Kathryn (Kat) Schumpert, life enrichment manager. “We have one gentleman in Reflections Memory Care, a WWII veteran, who has been a lifelong hobbyist of mechanics and motors. We knew this would be fascinating to him. We arranged for the team from Roaring Robotics to spend some time with just him, exploring Q-Bert’s capabilities.”
After the private demonstration, the Roaring Robotics Team showed off some of Q-Bert’s skills to approximately 30 residents of GreenFields. Q-Bert roamed the assembly hall and placed cubes on a table, demonstrating the ability to move sideways in addition to the usual forward and backward. The students also talked to the residents about their involvement with Team 2704 and the competition.
“This was a great event for the residents,” said Kat. “They love intergenerational programs, and being able to see what these young people are working on was just fascinating. We were delighted that Roaring Robotics was gracious enough to visit.”