GEAR Up for Robotics Tournament

What happens when budding young engineers are given a robot and a challenge? The GEAR Tournament aims to find out.

GEAR, which stands for Get Excited About Robots, is a fast-paced robotics competition featuring NXT and EV3 LEGO Mindstorm robots. Small teams of players between 8-years-old and the eighth grade build and program these robots to accomplish challenging tasks. The Arlington Public Library is hosting the GEAR Robotics Tournament for the third year in a row. This year’s competition will be held Saturday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in UTA’s Nedderman Hall.

Interested students can form their teams and start practicing soon. Join us at the East Arlington Branch on March 25 for the GEAR Robotics Tournament Kick-Off. Tournament founder Robert Acosta will be on-hand to show the new gameplay and rules featured in this year’s competition. Teams will also learn about the judging process, which takes into account programming, creativity, team work, and more. If you’re interested in competing, you don’t want to miss this meeting! In the meantime, see general rules about the competition at the GEAR Robotics website.

Mr. Acosta founded GEAR Robotics in 2002 to reach young people who might not otherwise be exposed to the growing robotics field. Not every participant will go on to work with robots as an adult, but the critical thinking skills necessary for the tournament can be applied to any field. “The engineering process used in preparing for the competition taught us our ideas will sometimes work and sometimes they will not,” one team of past participants said. “This is a fun way to work: brainstorm ideas, build and test the programs out.”

Librarian Marla Boswell leads the library’s robotics classes for children and teens. “Libraries are becoming more technology-based, and robotics is the next step with students,” Boswell said. “They are all so excited. It’s good to see them with that energy and drive.”

Click here to find more information about the library’s technology events for children and teens.