STEM Robotics

STREAMWORKS aims to assist our future workforce by providing them with the skills needed for career success. We found that one of the most beneficial and effective ways to do this is by promoting robotics programs, while also developing and mentoring competitive robotics teams. Being on a robotics team not only introduces the youth to science and technology, but also instills characteristics that will benefit them in any future job of their choosing. Working collaboratively with other students teaches them communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills. In addition, robotics programs can stimulate a student’s full potential by simulating a real-world work environment combined with competition. Despite these benefits, most people quickly become averse to the idea of participating in these programs due to the hefty fees. We know that these kinds of programs can be expensive; thus, we have made it our mission to develop these programs with affordability in mind. Here at STREAMWORKS, we believe that every student should have an equal opportunity to participate in our robotics programs, regardless of their financial backgrounds.

How Has Robotics Impacted Students?

Hands-on learning has been proven time and time again to be effective in furthering student understanding of various subjects taught in the class setting. Studies have shown that students who engage in hands-on learning are more likely to succeed on school assignments, projects, and exams. Through our robotics programs, students are able to apply their in-class knowledge to real-world problems and further their understanding of the engineering design process as they brainstorm, sketch, and share ideas with their fellow students.

Robotics takes learning to the next level. The various projects in the programs aid not only in a student’s overall performance in school, but also in the development of essential skills needed for future careers. While robot creation comprises a major part of our programs, technical writings and designs play an equally important role in developing professional skills early on. The knowledge gained here can also be utilized in other, non-STEM fields. The possibilities of what can be learned are limitless.

Personal Experience

My name is Makaila Freeman, and I have been an intern at STREAMWORKS for roughly two years. Robotics has given me the means to reach potential that I never thought I could reach. I grew up with a single mom who struggled financially, and only a handful of people in my family have gone to college. Most of my family members were coal miners in Virginia, so my dream to become an engineer took my family by surprise. I would be the first in my family to pursue a STEM career. With no advice or guidance, I was unsure on how I was going to reach my goal. Growing up, math and science were always my favorite subjects in school. I was that kid that asked for a microscope for Christmas, memorized the constellations, and performed my own science experiments; however, I never really had an outlet to apply my knowledge or develop new skills to help me succeed. Then, in my freshman year of high school, I found the activity I was looking for: robotics. I quickly joined my school’s new underwater robotics team (MATE). Through robotics, I learned how to use Computer-aided-design software to develop 3D designs, how to use power tools and basic mechanics principles, how to implement electronics, and even basic programming. But, most importantly, I learned how to lead. Through this experience I learned what qualities made a good leader. I figured out that my ability to lead was one of my biggest strengths and, without robotics, I would have never discovered these qualities. My team went to the World Championships in Seattle, Washington, competing against teams from all over the globe. We were even one of the first underwater robotics teams in the state of Tennessee. I was appointed the CEO of my team and recognized for my accomplishments by receiving the Twenty under Twenty award in 2019. Afterwards, I received this internship at STREAMWORKS, whose mission involved presenting these opportunities to kids like me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without robotics and working at STREAMWORKS has made me realize any kid can succeed if you give them the opportunity.

Our Initiatives

At STREAMWORKS, we offer two robotics programs: Robot Drone League and MATE underwater robotics. In both programs, teams can either be community-based or from a school (anyone can form a team). STREAMWORKS will provide mentorship and guidance from our interns, who have had prior experience with robotics teams and participating in these programs. We offer many robotics camps over the summer to help develop skills in CAD, computer science, electronics, and mechanics, and we host multiple teacher workshops. There are also hours of online learning content in our robotics programs, allowing teams to access this information even if they don’t live near one of our STREAMWORKS facilities. If you are interested in any of our robotics programs, you can click here or on the Programs tab above. Summer STEM and Robotics camp information will be made available soon.


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