Unified Robotics is an international program that focuses on giving all students, regardless of disability, equal opportunity in STEM. The program believes in the values of respect, patience, willingness, and community.
The program was founded in 2015 by Delaney Foster, who took her high school robotics team to a neighboring special needs program. The students fostered relationships, shared a couple of laughs, and built some pretty awesome robots.
Foster saw the importance of providing an inclusive STEM education to students with special needs. After a successful initial season, the program has grown among high schools across the country.
Over the last couple of months, Best Buddies advisor Jason Hamann and the UBett Robotics team have worked to bring the program of Unified Robotics to Bettendorf.
“I have been with the robotics team for the last two years. I am excited to be part of something that allows everyone to get involved in robotics,” Tienna Trettin said.
At Bettendorf, Unified Robotics will pair members of the Best Buddies program with members of UBett Robotics, the high school robotics team. Together, the team will work to build a robot that will race and fight other teams' robots.
The teams have been meeting every Monday in Hamann’s room. To this point, meetings have consisted of team building exercises and planning a robot design.
“I have had a great time working with the Best Buddies members. I have Francine Pace, Sarah Rogers and Jason McNabb on my team. We have got along really well, and I am looking forward to working with them,” robotics member Justin Nock said.
Unified Robotics adds to the copious STEM opportunities available at Bettendorf. If you are interested in getting involved in Unified Robotics, you can learn more by contacting Rebecca Carton.