The Hopkins Robotics Program was designed and established to give all students, in grades 7–12, the opportunity to explore and learn the various aspects of designing, building, coding, and testing robots of various sizes and complexity levels. Areas of focus include the mechanical, electrical, and computational aspects of a robot. The Engineering Design Process and Design Thinking is used to teach students the importance of iterative robot design.
The program has three main areas:
Junior School Robotics: This hands-on program is for Grade 7 and 8 students to build, code, and test their robots for basic functionality and then custom-design various add-on features for more advanced robot functionality.
High School Academic Classes: Robotics Engineering is a high school academic Term class that is offered to students of all skill levels in Grades 9–12 who are interested in either entry-level robotics or who want to upgrade their current robotics skills to the next level. Working in small teams, students create a robot that provides a solution for a community-defined problem.
High School Competition Teams: Hopkins has two high school competition teams under the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) program. Each team is challenged with designing and building their own robot to meet the annual competition challenge that is published by FIRST. Our teams attend several qualifiers and consistently qualify for state championship competition. We have also qualified for Worlds Competition and have attended that event as well. These teams are supported by our high school training team which prepares students for competition, teaches them the hardware and software that is used, and allows them to build a robot for the FTC annual challenge as well. Students from the training team have the option to join one of the competition teams.