According to a recent article by the International Society of Automation, “The U.S. market for robotics and artificial intelligence career openings is exploding.” And, with an increasing number of jobs throughout all sectors of the economy involving robotics, students with experience in the field will enjoy distinct advantages both in college and in their future employment. The awareness of the rapidly changing workplace and the need for innovative thinking is driving the successes of Northwood School’s robotics program. Now in its 8th season, and under the direction of Technology Director, Jeff Martin, the program offers two levels of instruction. The first is an introductory track based on the Vex Robotics platform which is designed from the ground up to provide novice users the chance to find success in design, build, and programming quickly. The more advanced track is based on the FIRST (For Inspiration, Recognition of Science & Technology) the world’s leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education connection, and involves more detailed mechanical design, engineering design, and programming.
Jeff shares, “Our students really get hands-on experience with all of the design, building, and programming, which is significantly different than a lot of programs. Northwood’s is very kid-driven, and our students are therefore very competitive, articulate when speaking about their projects, and resourceful in their robotics work”. While the program has received numerous awards, most notable was Northwood’s robotics team’s selection to last year's World Championships held in Houston, Texas.