When Vincent Smith, a high school teacher at Bradford Academy, heard about FIRST Robotics and saw what kind of impact it could have on his students, he knew he had to bring it to Bradford Academy.
Smith is a World History and Geography teacher, which is not your typical teacher who would initiate a program like this.
“I saw an incredible learning opportunity for our students at Bradford with the Robotics Team and just knew that my students would soak it up and love to be part of something like this. It not only allows for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education but kids also learn about being part of a team, life skills and leadership.”
And just like that, 12 students jumped at the opportunity and the Bradford Botdogs were created!
In the first year of competition, they competed in two events. In both events, they went to the championship round. They received second place in the inaugural event and won the championship at the second event.
Not only did they win the championship, but they also received the Rookie Inspiration Trophy! This award celebrates a rookie team’s outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school, as well as in their community.
Students who are part of the Bradford Botdogs are becoming excellent problem solvers and learners. They are gaining critical life skills and learning about new career paths. Most importantly, they are learning about what it means to be on a team and hold each other accountable.
The Bradford Botdogs next competition will be on March 29 and 30 at Troy Athens High School. They have been working hard preparing and hope to take home another award.