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Robotics Petting Zoo engages young minds in programming

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The ‘Robotics Petting Zoo’ was recently organized as part of the Grand Rapids Public Library’s GR Reads 2018 program. The event, held in connection to one of the books on this year’s list called The Philip K. Dick Reader, offered public a good opportunity to interact first-hand with a fleet of robots.

A high school team from Kentwood and a middle school team from Allendale shared their machines with anyone interested, FOX 17 News said in a report. The teams talked about the robots they had built and how to make them move and pick up cubes on an obstacle course of sorts.

Both of the groups are part of FIRST Robotics Competitions; a program with the mission of getting kids active with science and technology.

The Robotics Petting Zoo is a beginner friendly hackathon built to engage youth in science and technology. It was designed to be welcoming to everyone. Instead of competing, groups work collaboratively to put on a fun event for the public. Participants learn coding, electronics and physical prototyping by building an interactive robotic pet.

The first Robotics Petting Zoo was created by the Lawrence Hall of Science in 2015. Since then, teachers and makers from around the United States have hosted a dozen other RPZ events.

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