By Jessica Easthope
At St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Academy it’s robots to the rescue, on a mission to solve a problem that affects more than 64 percent of Americans – package theft.
“The average person always experiences some kind of difficulty and package theft is one of those difficulties we could solve with our technology,” said eighth grader Edmon Saleeb.
The school’s eighth grade robotics team is on its way to the First Lego League Challenge city championship. The theme of the competition is cargo connect – they were asked to find a problem and then build and program a robot that could solve it.
The team didn’t have to look farther than their front doors.
“I knew it was like a global thing happening and since I’ve experienced it personally I guess I wanted to get really into it,” said team member Kellianne Wilson.
In 2021 a survey by SafeWise found that 210 million packages vanished from porches all across the country, but the team’s solution – is air tight. They came up with a QR code scanner that would allow delivery people into a mailbox or locker outside of a home instead of having to go in.
Robotics coach and technology teacher Lisa Nitzsche says the team is letting faith and technology lead the way.
“It really ties in with caring for others and thinking of others,” she said.
And this team is the total package.
“For Edmon he’s able to calculate how many degrees the robot should go and I mostly do the writing,” said Kellianne.
They’re preparing for the competition and for life after elementary school.
“A lot of the robotics skills they’re learning, the teamwork, the problem solving, using different technologies, doing the research is preparing them for further from here,” said Lisa.
The team will be competing against 75 other teams in the citywide championship on March 13.