The Lincoln Science Fair, a time to celebrate the scientific discoveries of others and the very essence of science itself. There were many different types of exhibits set up, including ones detailing findings on potatoes growing, static electricity’s effect on liquids, and even one that used air to blow down stacks of cups. And on the stage there was Team 696 Robotics from Clark Magnet with their 2014 robot Snapdragon.
Children crowded the steps to the stage to get a look at Snapdragon and the team members controlling it. To maintain maximum safety, no kids were allowed on the stage apart from Team 696 members, but that didn’t stop 696 from interacting with the Lincoln students.
Snapdragon doesn’t only roll balls and pick them up, it can also launch them through the air. Due to safety reasons, 696 couldn’t launch it to the children, no matter how badly they wanted us to. But the Lincoln students were just as excited to witness the launching nonetheless.
The Lincoln students were entranced with how Snapdragon could not only roll the ball towards them, pick it back up, but also throw the ball across the stage. Over and over they asked to be able to drive it, but we just couldn’t let them. But this never stopped the smiles from appearing on their faces while watching the robot.
Another favorite activity of the children was to help Snapdragon in it’s operations. To do this, they followed a Team 696 member’s instructions. First, they had to all open their arms down on the count of three. This would let Snapdragon open up. They then would hold their arms like a catapult, and once again, on the count of three they would release. At the same time Snapdragon would throw the ball across the stage. This always brought laughter and joy to the onlookers.
All too soon did the Lincoln Science Fair end, making it time for Team 696 to pack up Snapdragon and head back to Clark Magnet. While leaving, parents and students came up to thank them for coming to the Lincoln Science Fair, explaining how their children had loved every second of it. They asked if we’d return the following year and were relieved to hear we certainly planned to.