OLP uses robotics as a tool to promote student engagement and enhance STEM learning at the school.
Last year, OLP created the Robotics and Engineering Club and the OLP MicroChicks Robotics Team. All students are welcome to join the Club at any time. Since the inception of the Club, professional engineers have been invited to speak during co-curricular. Jointly, the club and team plan to host a variety of engineers to speak next semester and will engage in several mini-engineering projects.
The OLP MicroChicks Robotics Team is a part of the FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) organization and is limited to a group of 10 girls selected by an application process at the beginning of the year. Each September, a challenge is announced which signals the beginning of the FTC competition season. Teams across the nation rapidly build and program a robot to perform the tasks put forth in the challenge and get prepared to compete in tournaments. OLP’s rookie team received an FTC grant from NDEP (National Defense Education Program) and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to cover start-up costs for the team. In addition to the grants, women engineers from Naval Air Systems Command mentor the team after school and on Saturdays in building and programming the robot.