King’s CyberKnights and Unified Robotics Club students have been working hard with Special Olympics of Washington to organize the first ever Unified Robotics Championship event at the Pacific Science Center this Saturday, December 3rd, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This event is open to the public and is included with the regular price of admission.
Unified Robotics brings the world of STEM and the sport of robotics to more high school students interested in STEM – including students who are often excluded from extracurricular activities. Team partners work one-on-one with athletes (i.e. students with intellectual disabilities) to build robots using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Kits. Small teams create their own robot including designing, building, and programming the robot. At the final tournament-style competition, each team presents their robot and its features, and competes in a new game created each year.
Unified Robotics was founded last year by then King’s High School senior, Delaney Foster, an active advocate for inclusive education. Foster, whose sister is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), has seen firsthand the opportunity gap that exists in high schools. Students with ASD and/or intellectual disabilities are often excluded from extracurricular activities, and even elective classes, because of lack of accommodations or ability to provide modifications.
More than 32 teams will compete at this weekend’s event. Featured speakers Will Daugherty (Pacific Science Center CEO) and Dave Lenox (Special Olympics Washington CEO) will welcome guests before the competition. Senator Joe Fain and Dr. Gary Stobbe (Director of UW Adult Autism Clinic) are among other VIP event judges.
“The fact that our athletes are meaningfully contributing to building robots sends a message to the world that this population has untapped talent and wisdom waiting to be discovered and utilized.” – Dave Lenox, CEO Special Olympics Washington