HENDERSON, Nev. - Students at the Robotics Club at Robert Taylor Elementary School are filled with enthusiasm. These fourth and fifth graders tackle their latest robotic designs and show off their finished products.
"One of my interests was building robotics. I like to have a hard challenge in my life," said student Gabriella Newman.
The excitement the program generates is a joy for volunteer instructor Dr. Larry Pilon, a retired teacher of 36 years. He encourages the students to solve problems using the latest computer programs or pencils and paper.
"They get to actually apply it. They keep journals. They interact with each other. They learn through discovery. They learn through failure, but they never quit," he said.
With the help of Rick Stater and the Tronox Company, the Robotics Club is well funded. The program is so popular, it can't accommodate demand, and many students are turned away.
Students like Newman welcome the challenges the program brings.
"It's actually pretty hard, because if you mess up on one thing, you'll have to start all over again just to figure out what did you mess up on," she said.
These students clearly know their stuff.
"(This is) the altro-sonic sensor that's on top of it, that has the two eyes that senses when someone walks in front of it," student Madison Cooper said of her project.
Having fun is an important part of the equation, as is building friends and memories in addition to robots.
"The best part about it every day is going in and seeing my friends and working, because the best accomplishment in life is always to get better," Newman said.
The Robotics Club represents What's Cool at School.
If you wish to nominate a program for What's Cool at School, visit our website or e-mail us. You can also vote on your favorite program. Each month, the program that receives the most votes will receive $250.