The Central High School RoboLancers’ Philly Robotics Expo (PRX) is an event for the purpose of raising STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) awareness. This event features FLL (First Lego League) and FTC (First Tech Challenge) scrimmages, as well as several workshops in the fields of programming, electronics, and mechanical systems.
The expo is free and open to all visitors. Elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools are invited to explore many different aspects of engineering and robotics. During the 2018 expo, The University of Pennsylvania and the RoboLancers teamed up to educate visitors of all ages. RoboLancers demonstrated the mechanisms behind a variety of robots to visitors, including robots that could draw.
The workshops at this event serve the purpose of teaching students at different levels about the different fields in engineering and computer science. For each workshop, there is a beginner, intermediate, and advanced level. For many of our visitors, PRX is their first hands-on experience with robotics and engineering. They all know the consumer side of engineering in their phones, cars, T.V.s etc., but now they have the opportunity to see what really goes on behind the scenes. Here is where they learn how companies start the design process, code their various software, and put together mechanical systems.
The FRC, FTC, and FLL demos serve to give kids an example of a FIRST competition robot. The children still have to learn hands on why the teams who built the robots they are using designed their robot a certain way. They also learn about the best strategies, considering their constraints, strengths, and weaknesses.
Companies also have the opportunity to participate in this event by showcasing their projects and new products. In addition, companies can observe what students are doing in FTC and FLL teams to give them a measure of what they can expect from students who, one day, could potentially work for them in the future
All individuals, school groups, community groups, and professionals interested in the field of robotics are invited and encouraged to this attend this free event. The response to the First Annual PRX was beyond our expectations. With each passing year it grows even more, and with some imaginative thinking, it may one day become an event more enjoyable and significant than even the sports events loved by everyone.