After participating in the FIRST Robotics program a few years ago, rising Howard senior Jeremiah Smith says he's learned some of the nuts and bolts of engineering.
"Just break problems down into small chunks so you can easily deal with them," he says.
It's a lesson Smith plans to take beyond the robotics lab, and starting in the fall, 'Team Robo-Bibb' will give other high school students the same opportunity.
"In January, we'll go to Georgia Tech, where they'll release this year's challenge," says club sponsor Joe Finkelstein. That challenge can be anything from building a robot that throws frisbees at targets or one that climbs ladders. Finkelsten says, "We'll basically have two months to go back and build a robot that will compete against robots, in our case, all over the southeast."
For a little extra help, most schools have to travel to Tech, but Mercer engineering students will step in to help central Georgia students.
Anthony Choi, Director of Machine Intelligence and Robotics Laboratory at Mercer, says they'll also help them build more options for their future.
"For every one engineer that's graduating, there are three jobs waiting for them, even in this market where we have high unemployment rates, historic rates and stuff like that. We're actually having issues finding capable engineers," says Choi.
To enter the competitions, 'Team Robo-Bibb' must raise $5,000. Finkelstein says they're also asking anyone with an engineering background to sign up as a mentor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.