Robots take over LBCC during annual festival

By Ryan Cholico

Willian Trang shows off Pikatech Robotics' robot to all the families in attendance. Photo by Ryan Cholico.

Straw rockets, zip-line challenges, and Ozobots were just a few of the many attractions that Long Beach City College and Shared Sciences put together for families on April 7 at LAC.

Many organizations like Momentum Robotics, Pikatech Robotics, and even the Environmental Science Bureau put together small learning stations to teach the families who attended about the world of science and robotics.

William Trang of Pikatech Robotics and Kyle Alix of Momentum Robotics both started learning the basics of robotics at a young age and continued to participate in events such as Robo-Tech.

The Pikatech Robotics robot climbs up to the stand in the middle of the mini arena. Photo by Ryan Cholico.

“I enjoy these kinds of events and like showing off my groups creations,” Trang said.

Michelle Wells, president of Shared Science, provided some insight on why events such as Robo-Tech are important.

“Robo-Tech is mostly about bringing the opportunities that are here locally so that families can be exposed to it as much as possible,” Wells said.

“The younger you reach and touch kids with this message and make it exciting, the more likely they are to stick with it as it gets more complicated.”

Exposing kids to science at an early age is something many of the organizations strive to do.

Stands like “Jack’s Creations” and “Brighter Future” focused on helping children with disabilities.

This was the case with many of the organizations as they were also selling snacks and drinks to help raise donations towards causes.

Kim Hatch, professor at LBCC, put together the event with the help of the physical science department and Shared Science.

According to Hatch, an event like this has been in his mind for the past few years as he applied for equity grants and reached out to non-profit organizations such as Shared Science to help create learning experiences for the youth.

“We have a chance to impact the youth, and that is what we are hoping to achieve,” Hatch said.

The Long Beach Maker Society and the Environmental Science Bureau both did their parts in showing off plans for the Future.

The maker society showed off their 3D printer which it offers for free to the public.

The ESB taught families about the benefits of compost and how the society can benefit by using organisms like worms to deal with their garbage.

While many families were busy learning about science and robotics, schools were in the meantime battling it out in a Lego competition inside the Nordic Lounge.

Schools Such as Lowell Elementary School created mini robots and programmed them with different functions in order to carry out various tasks.

Workshop were also some of the main attractions for families as they had a chance to enlist their kids in short classes where they were taught some basic science and engineering knowledge.

They were given a chance to create straw rockets and play with small Ozobots.

Former LBCC students have joined forces with Shared Science and landed jobs with them, helping both the organization and the student grow together.

Bobbie Benavidez is a former LBCC student who has since became a board member at Shared Science.

“I participate in tech camps over the summers and when I have the chance, I do a lot of science nights and general outreach,” Benavidez said.

LBCC will also be hosting a science night on May 3 at 6 p.m. at the LAC campus for anyone in the community interested in science and engineering.