Education hosts RARC competition

Louisiana Tech University’s College of Education recently partnered with the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), the science, technology, and education center (SciTEC), UTeachTech, and partnering schools to host Northeast Louisiana’s first Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit (RARC) event of 2019.

Through RARC competitions across the region, students develop a knowledge of and passion for robotics. Students in grades two through 12 showcased their STEM and cyber skills by competing in a series of three robotic competitions against other students in their grade-level division.

The NICERC division of the Cyber Innovation Center focuses on STEM Curriculum design, Computer Science Curriculum design, Cyber Curriculum design, professional development, and collaboration in K-12 education. The robotics competition is one of the division’s many partnerships with Louisiana Tech.

“RARC is so much more than robots,” said Kevin Nolten, Director of Academic Outreach for the Cyber Innovation Center and NICERC. “Our ‘Small Wonders, Big Possibilities’ theme for this year has allowed students to explore biology, genetics, nanotechnology, neuroscience, and physics in addition to technology, programming, and mathematics.

“The structure of the competitions teaches teams valuable 21st Century skills like communication, problem-solving, and teamwork as well. RARC provides lessons and skills that will help our students be successful in their future academic and career pathways.”

Eighteen teams competed in the tournament. After the Jackson Parish team from Quitman Middle School placed first, Superintendent David Claxton said the students learned much from the experience.

“I love the opportunity our kids have just to be involved with the RARC program,” Claxton said.

JS Clarke of Monroe City Schools took home the second place trophy for the middle-school division. Kiroli Elementary from Ouachita Parish had teams place first and second in the elementary division. Simsboro High from Lincoln Parish swept the high school competition.

“I am amazed to see what students are able to accomplish and overjoyed to see how proud they are of their hard work,” said Glenn Larson, director of the Northeast Louisiana RARC competition.

To learn more about ways you can partner with the College of Education on STEM outreach efforts, email our SciTEC team at