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GMS Ag Ed Students Accept the CHALLENGE!

The Iowa State Chapter of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) had a proposal for the 8th Grade Students in the Agricultural Education Exploratory rotation. They were given the “Ag Bot Challenge”.

Students in teams of four were tasked with the problem of getting the popular robotics toy called Hexbugs from one “barn” to another.  They designed a custom equipment system using simple office supplies that would help move the electronic creatures from place to place.   Rachel Berrey, an ISU student, explained to the students there were two requirements for the challenge. “We want you to see which group can get the fastest time but we also want to see what group can create the most efficient design, said Berrey.”

Students could buy supplies from the store. Tape, straws, plastic tubing, and paper were all available at different prices. The students used these supplies to create their systems. Some were very successful in their initial designs but other had to use the trial and error process to come up with a more efficient idea. All groups were timed from when their bugs “left the barn” to when they arrived at the other location. There were also challenging obstacles placed in their workspace that the students had to direct their creatures around. “We thought we had ours done but then had to make them go around the obstacle,” said Emma Bulman. “It was fun to do a competitive activity in class and that my team was able to win.

Cole Schrader liked the ag business concepts that the groups had to think about. “It was fun to manage your expenses and try and make our product the cheapest as possible.” The students continued talking about agricultural engineering careers and ag business concepts the next day in class.

Ag Bot 1Ag Bot 2

Caption: Gilbert Middle School Ag Students complete the Ag Bot Challenge as part of an ag engineering activity during their Exploratory Class.

Gilbert Community School District

Gilbert Community School District

103 Mathews Drive, Gilbert, Iowa 50105  |  (515) 232-3740