Cory and Jabez participated in the Baltimore City Summer Jump program (I was an arts enrichment instructor at the same site). I got to hang out with them during their lunch period, when they chose to work on their robots rather than eat. That is a good indicator of their commitment to robotics.
The students worked in teams of two and followed a set construction protocol for these VEX robots. Once the basic robot was constructed, however, students had the opportunity to customize their robots in preparation for a series of competitive challenges, like picking up and moving a ball.
You’ve certainly heard of S.T.E.M. (science, tech, engineering and math). It seems to be a powerful term in the world of education right now. In my estimation, the whole STEM approach boils down to the Engineering Design Process (EDP): Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create and Improve. The EDP is non-linear and usually visually depicted as a cycle.
This way of thinking is not limited to scientists and engineers. This is really, in my opinion, how humans naturally act when faced with a challenge. With some training, our natural instincts can be sharpened.
Check out Cory and Jabez and as you watch, ask yourself if the EDP is at work.