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.

About The Author

Max is a professional beatboxer and teaching artist. He enjoys teaching and performing for audiences of all ages.