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Dublin Irish Gifted Academy students learn to build and code robots

Students can join the robotics club in the fall and work on projects that can go on to competitions in spring

DUBLIN, Ga. — Dublin City Schools students are keeping their science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills sharp this summer to prepare them for competitions this fall.

Irish Gifted Academy middle schoolers are learning all about robotics, which is something 7th grader Ryleigh Byxbe never thought she'd do.

"At first I did not like it because I was sleepy and moody, but after I built the robot it turned out to be a fun camp," said Byxbe.

6th grader Rashun Waters and his partner built their robot without any instruction.

"The thing that inspired me was actually being deprived of stuff. Basically our box had nothing useful, so I basically just had to scrap and find whatever and just make this. It wasn't even on the instructions," he said.

After they build the robots, they learn how to code them. Engineering teacher Andrew Harvey also teaches them about STEM careers.

"A basic level coder can start off straight out of school at $80,000, and it's one of the fastest growing industries and job mobility. They can move anywhere and have a job. That's the beauty of this, they're not restricted," Harvey said.

Waters and Byxbe are already thinking of ways they can put their skills to good use in real life.

"Some of it might be able to help blind people or deaf people. Basically, they might not even need service dogs and the service dogs could basically just become companion dogs and they could live a normal and happy life," said Waters.

"If we go on quarantine again, we could make bigger robots, like circle robots like the one we saw and we could like put stuff stuff inside of it like a carry out. Somebody could order food and we could put it inside of it and it could deliver it to the person," said Byxbe.

Harvey says students can join the robotics club in the fall and work on projects that can go on to competitions in spring.

This camp is only available for Irish Gifted Academy students this summer, but the instructor hopes to open it up to more schools throughout the region in the future.

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