Gold Hill students build robot to help classmate

A group of fifth-graders built a robot to help a classmate

FORT MILL, S.C. - A group of fifth graders from Fort Mill are taking their robotics team to the world stage.

The students hope their robot can win another competition, but more importantly change lives in the process.

The Gold Hill Elementary Hornets robotics team created a robot impressive enough to win competitions at the regional and state levels, qualifying for the World Championships.

It’s a project that required coding and engineering considerably passing the fifth grade level.

“To me, if I had to explain it in one word, it would be confusing,” fifth-grade student Logan Shope said.

Confusing and time consuming to program, but simple and quick to use. The Silent Helper turns text into voice.

“For instance, he could type anything he wanted in,” fifth-grade student and robotics team member Alayna Khoja said. “Hit the enter button on the keyboard, and it [the bluetooth speaker] would say what he typed in.”

 “The ‘he’ Khoja is referring to is a classmate with selective mutism. The Silent Helper was designed with a fellow student in mind.

“We wanted to help people with special needs, because as our team name says, we want to change the world,” Khoja said.

An impressive piece of engineering, but it’s the motivation behind the robot that stands out.

“I immediately though about helping people,” Shope said. “I mean, I just love to help people. I love to see smiles on other people’s faces.”

“It’s impressive to see that the recognized a need, and that they were able to figure out a solution to a problem that these students might have communicating,” Lead teacher Matt Rohring said.

The Gold Hill Hornets robotics team will introduce the Silent Helper at the World Championships in Louisville, Ky. beginning on Sunday. 

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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