Get Excited About Robotics, GEAR, is a program that Frenship elementary and middle school campuses participate and compete in. Students and coaches prepare for GEAR Robotics events by building robots with the LEGO Mindstorms program and the EV3 robots.
Teams of students build and program LEGO robots to go through a playing field to deliver or move items to certain locations. GEAR uses a two-minute time limit for the competing robots to run through the course and score points for their team. There were nearly 60 elementary teams and 30 middle school teams from the surrounding areas, competing in head-to-head battles.
With this year's theme as Moon Post, the students not only built and programed their robots, but they also created a spaceship to hold cargo for their robots to unload. The GEAR robots must move and clear ‘space debris’ and unload their spaceship without moving it out of the designated area in the middle of the map. The robots are designed so they function solely on programming done prior to the meet. Students determine which of the programs would be the best for the challenge, then point the robot in the right direction and let it go.
GEAR is a sponsor-funded program operated by the Whitacre College of Engineering at Texas Tech University. Engineering students and faculty operate the program, help organize the game days, and serve as referees and judges.
The GEAR competitions are not yet over with Lubbock and Amarillo Game Days scheduled for later this month. Once those events are complete, they will calculate the scores from all three game days to see who will be advancing to the Championship on May 14th.
However, at the GEAR 2022 Frenship ISD Game Day several awards are handed out for creativity and ingenuity. Below are the award recipients from Frenship.
K – 5th Grade
Best Theme Award - Upland Heights Team 4
Gear Head Award- Westwind Team 3
Most Elegant Spaceship Award - Crestview Team 3
Programming Award- Oak Ridge Team 7
Judge's Award - Oak Ridge Team 4
Young Engineer 1st Place – Willow Bend Team 6
6th – 8th Grade
Most Elegant Spaceship Award - Heritage Team 2
Judges Award - Heritage Team 6