Fairmont State University hosted more than 40 middle school students from across the state on Thursday for the inaugural Cyber Robotics Coding Competition (CRCC). Fairmont State's College of Science and Technology and NASA IV&V's Educator Resource Center partnered with the ISCEF Foundation to launch our state's first competition. A3L Federal Works sponsored the event.
“CRCC is a virtual competition offering middle school students an exciting competitive event to challenge their skills and showcase their schools' STEM achievements,” said Todd Ensign, Director of NASA IV&V Robotics Alliance Project. “We are so excited that more than 2,000 students in 23 schools throughout West Virginia engaged in our pilot CRCC competition.”
Robotics and coding create pathways to careers and jobs in industry – through robotics, students in middle and high school learn not only mechanics and programming, but also the math, science and engineering principles behind robots. Cyber Robotics and Coding will help West Virginia schools expand their approach to STEM using virtual training tools and take the skills that students learn to new practical levels.
Competitors, non-competing students, advisors met Thursday morning for a brief orientation. Each team of two students was then assigned to a computer lab where they had a 90-minute coding session. After lunch, teams competed in the second session all while see the live leader board. Students had to make strategic decisions regarding which mission to complete for the most amount of points.
The Inclusion Award, given to the school with the highest percentage of student participation, was awarded to Mountaineer Middle School with a participation rate of 72%.
The Grace Hopper Award, given to the school with the highest percentage of female coders, was awarded to Montcalm Middle School in Rock. 48% of their coders are female. It was presented by Roya Maher, President and CEO of A3L Federal Works, the West Virginia sponsor of CRCC.
Third place went to team Tech Fire from Tridelphia Middle School with a score of 3,433. Second place went to team Orange and Blue from Fort Gay Middle School with a score of 3,600 out of 4,000.
The first ever CRCC champions were the Unknown Coders from Frankfort Middle School. They had a perfect score of 4,000. Fairmont State President Mirta Martin presented the award.
In addition to the awards above, President Martin awarded each student a $500 scholarship to Fairmont State University.
“I expect great things from you,” encouraged Martin. “You need to be powered by a college education. And this world needs you to use that education to become a leader and empower all of us. You are now a part of the Falcon Nation. Welcome home.”