Rumsey Station, Trumble Park librarian leads successful robotic teams
(Rumsey Station Elementary robotics team)
Robert Schull is a librarian at Rumsey Station and Trumble Park Elementary schools. However, in his free time after school, he turns the library into a practice space to teach students about robotics.
Schull is the coach for a team of 4 students at each school.
It's his first year working at Papillion La Vista Community Schools, so taking on the responsibility seemed like a huge task, but he knew he could it. At his previous job at Omaha Public Schools, he coached robotics teams for 8 years. So Schull knew he wanted to do the same when he arrived at PLCS. Both principals at the schools were excited about the idea of Schull bringing his robotic skills to the schools.
His first course of action was to apply for grants to get the equipment needed in November. Once he received the grant, Schull spent time gathering the parts necessary for the robotic teams. After winter break, the librarian began to assemble his team of 6th graders.
(Trumble Park Elementary robotics team)
The robotic teams had been practicing for about two months when they went to their first competition: St. Margaret Mary CREATE Junior Robotics Competition on February 22. The teams scored high enough to qualify for regionals on March 7.
Rumsey Station's robot's name is Leroy Jenkins and their team name is Rumsey Core. Trumble Park's robot's name is Vroomy and their team name is "League of Vrooms".
Schull explained his robotic teams learn several skills while preparing and competiting in the competition.
“It’s problem solving, because every year they have a new game they are presented," Schull said. "They have a kit so they are problem solving because they are designing a robot to solve the problems to score most effectively.”
The students also learn to follow directions to build their robots to the specifications required. During the competition, there is an interview process where the students practice public speaking skills by explaining how they build the robot and why.
As a librarian, you may be wondering how Schull got into robotics.
"I just randomly got into robotics, I've done it for 8 years," Schull said and explained that he makes all of his best decisions "randomly".
The students at Rumsey Station Elementary and Trumble Park Elementary are grateful their robotics coach made that decision almost a decade ago, because they are now learning skills that keep their minds growing and learning.
Both teams performed well at the regionals competition on March 7 and qualified to move forward to the U.S. Open Competition.