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Botball is an educational robotics program that focuses on engaging middle and high school aged students in team-oriented robotics competitions. Thousands of children and young adults participate in the Botball program.

Description: BotBall is a robotics competition which originated in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as an educational activity. It started as a science class and a campus contest, but it was widely recognized and welcomed by MIT students. Because of the obvious educational value of this activity, and the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) educational method implemented in the United States, BotBall was pushed into the middle and high school educational system with its content design based on the US National Science Education Standards. University of Oklahoma (OU) Aerospace Engineering, University of North Florida (UNF) Artificial Intelligence, and many other specialized university research departments are associated with the beginning of this course.

After 20 years of development, this educational robotics activity has become extraordinarily influential in the US and internationally. Its regional divisions include most of the outstanding school districts in the US and many regions in Europe and Asia. BotBall’s sponsors include many companies and institutions in the field of science and technology; specifically, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), iRobot Corp., US Naval Research Laboratory, as well as University of Oklahoma itself. Each year, the BotBall event has helped more than 10,000 middle and high school students be successful in the fields of STEM. Students who have been trained and educated in BotBall are unanimously recognized by North American academia; it is also a prestigious item to have in their university applications.

Currently, there are teams from Austria, China, Egypt, India, Japan, Kuwait, Poland, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Zimbabwe, Mexico, and many more who are participating in the BotBall competitions worldwide.

BotBall is a typical robotics engineering challenge contest, allowing students to create a solution in an environment with limited time and resources, and providing them with the opportunity to simulate a real-life engineering challenge. The competition stresses on the fairness of play, all teams must use standard equipment provided by the organizer. The theme and content of each year’s BotBall are published by the international organizing committee. Teams are required to work together to complete a robotic challenge, during which players will need to use a controller, motors, sensors, and structural parts to build an autonomous robot (no remote control). Not only that, but the teams will also need to complete a series of project reports. Project-based learning and innovative research will generate a profound and lasting significance in the participant’s future.

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