Monthly Archives: October 2015

Columbus Nebraska Robotics program promotes STEM learning

Nebraska RoboticsStudents attended a Columbus Nebraska Robotics open house last week at Central Community College-Columbus. This program introduced area students to VEX Robotics competitions. The program was hosted by the college, Educational Service Unit 7 and Nebraska Public Power District.

In the Columbus, NE area, Lakeview High School in Columbus has been part of the program for a year. Other schools involved include Aurora, Nebraska and Cross County Community Schools near Stromsburg. The open house drew attendees from Kearney Catholic High School, Logan View Public Schools in Hooper and North Platte Catholic Schools.

You can read more on this exciting opportunity for students in the Columbus, Nebraska area, here on the Columbus Telegram.

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Nebraska First Lego League 2015-16 Season to Start

Nebraska First Lego LeagueThe 2015-16 Season for the Nebraska First Lego League is now underway, with the first tournaments coming in December. Students across Nebraska are ready for another season that captures their imagination to solve real world issues. Nebraska First Lego League is split into two divisions, each with their own annual challenge. For 4th through 8th graders, First Lego League presents the Trash Trek Challenge. For Kindegarden through 3rd graders, Jr. First Lego League presents the Waste Wise Challenge. Continue reading

Open Robotics at Heartland Regional Robotics Championship

CREATE FoundationDetails on the Open Robotics Division of the Heartland Regional Robotics Championship (HRRC) were released yesterday.  Not only Nebraska and Iowa teams will competing in the Open Division at HRRC, but also teams from Kansas and Missouri!  Here’s a quote from an email from CREATE Foundation’s yesterday:

For OPEN program teams the welcome mat will be even larger as teams from not only Iowa and Nebraska, but also Missouri and Kansas are eligible to qualify and participate in the OPEN Division of the Heartland Regional, assuring this to be the strongest field ever!

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VRC Heartland Regional Robotics Championship

Nebraska RoboticsIn an exciting development, VEX Robotics in Iowa and Nebraska will be partnering this season to hold the Heartland Regional Robotics Championship.  On February 26th & 27th, both Nebraska and Iowa will be sending their best teams to compete at Omaha North Magnet School for a chance to qualify for the World Championships. (Updated @ 11:15 am to include Middle School details).

You can find full event details for the High School division here:

You can find full event details for the Middle School Division here:

You can find full event details for the CREATE Open Division here:

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Omaha North Robotics 26th in the World

Omaha North RoboticsOmaha North Robotics hosted the first official VEX Robotics Nothing But Net event on Saturday October 17th.  The teams recorded Skills Challenge scores that could qualify them for the World & State Championships.

These early scores are surprisingly good.  The two High School teams, Omaha North Robotics and Omaha South, posted some great Skills Challenge scores.  Notably, Omaha North’s 1064C is ranked 26th in the world for Programming Skills with a score of 88.  Another Omaha North Robotics Team, 1064A, is Ranked 41st in the world for Driver Skills with a score of 96.
(The world ranking as of 1:30 pm, October 18th 2015).

Omaha North Robotics has shown a strong start to their season, we’re excited to see how the rest of the Nebraska teams perform as the season gets rolling.  The next competitions are on November 7th, with a High School Tournament and Papillion-LaVista and a Middle School Tournament at Beveridge Magnet Middle School.

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Chancellor Perlman highlights focus on STEM Graduates

Harvey PerlmanUniversity of Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman recently delivered his final state of the university address. The speech gives good insight on the current state of the University, along with where the University could be headed in the future.

Our ears perked up when Perlman made remarks related to STEM Graduates, Engineering and Computer Science:

…Our focus also has to be on the College of Engineering. That college has made real progress during the last three years and implementation of the strategic plan approved by the board of regents is critical not only for the university but for all of Nebraska. For the university, the college should contribute to our enrollment growth and should play an increasingly central role in sustaining our research momentum.

For Nebraska, the production of more engineering graduates is critical for its economic advancement and here we are in competition with every other state — all of whom face a critical shortage of STEM graduates.

Computer science, particularly in software applications, is another field where demand for graduates exceeds supply — and where we are in a unique position to keep Nebraska competitive. We are increasingly well-positioned to do so. Our computer science and engineering department is developing a new software engineering program to respond to industry demand. And we were fortunate to have attracted Steve Cooper from Stanford to build on the extraordinary success of the Raikes School. With active computer education programs both in Lincoln, and at UNO, and the unique capabilities of the Raikes School, we must find ways to respond to the workforce needs of Nebraska companies — needs I should add that are experienced by companies around the world…. ~ UN Chancellor Harvey Perlman

Obviously, STEM graduates are one of many focuses of the University of Nebraska. We would contend that it’s one of the greatest demands of Nebraska’s businesses and employers.

We’re excited to see how the future leadership of University of Nebraska tackles the challenges of our evolving workforce.  Their success could determine how economically competitive Nebraska becomes.