Made at theCO: Watering Raspberry Pi

Made at theCO: Watering Raspberry Pi

Have you ever left for vacation and come back to dead or dying plants in your living room?

It happened to me last month, and I was frustrated with feeling like I would never have a green thumb despite my best efforts. Then I heard about Watering Raspberry Pi, a robot built and created by Dev Catalyst students from Lexington High School. The robot is designed to automatically water your plant via a soil moisture sensor, meaning you could go on vacation and not have to worry about your plants!

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Summertime Learning at theCO

Summertime Learning at theCO

When school lets out at the end of May, most kids head to the pool, play outside, and visit the beach with their families. But some parents may want more educational activities for their kids during the summer. Luckily for the Jackson community, theCO offers workshops and summer camps for kids with technological abilities to develop their skills and learn about robotics, microcomputers, and more.

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Two Students Representing Jackson in International Robot Competition

Two Students Representing Jackson in International Robot Competition

Of the 1,500 students from all across the world who will be descending on Louisville, Kentucky, for an international robotics competition later this month, two young robot-makers will be representing Jackson, Tennessee.

Ben McCarver, a homeschool freshman, and Joshua Bernheisel, a seventh grader from a Northeast Middle School, managed to beat approximately 170 students in Tennessee to take the robots they designed in CO:bots to compete with some of the best student roboticists from all of the world, from the Middle East to Australia to South America.

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CO:bots Participant Wins $1300 Grant

CO:bots Participant Wins $1300 Grant

At the Jackson Mathnasium, fourteen-year-old Abby Little fiddles with her robot. “There’s a fifteen-second period where your robot has to do all the work, so right now, I’m trying to get that to work,” she explained.

Abby first started doing robotics last March. A group of her homeschool friends had been attending theCO’s weekly meetup, CO:bots, so she decided to join and quickly became engrossed in the world of robot building and competition.

“I like that you can come and build, and there’s no other pressure,” Abby said. “It’s about what is your idea and how do you use it.”

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Ben McCarver’s VEX Competition Experience

Ben McCarver’s VEX Competition Experience

Ben McCarver found love at first sight after attending a robotics meetup at theCO last October.

Kabao McCarver, mother of Ben McCarver, took note of Ben’s interest in engineering from an early age. 

“Ben was inclined to all things engineering from an early age. Before he could walk, he was trying to figure out how things fit together, mostly by first tearing them apart,” Kabao explained. “His involvement in robotics gave him the ability to express his interests in a new way.

“He kept the name, Ben the Destroyer, until a few years ago when it seemed like overnight he went from ‘breaking’ everything, and all of the sudden he was the one we called on to fix everything.”

Soon, after only days of robotics experience, Ben entered the VEX Robotics State Championship Competition held in Brentwood, Tennessee, against his mother’s wishes.

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