'Rebound Rumble': The March Madness Of Science Competitions | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

'Rebound Rumble': The March Madness Of Science Competitions

Play associated audio
Kayode Ayorinde is a junior track star who brings a lot to his team, because he does robotics in his own time.
Markette Smith
Kayode Ayorinde is a junior track star who brings a lot to his team, because he does robotics in his own time.

It's March Madness for high school students, as 60 teams from the region and across the country compete in what's called the "Rebound Rumble." This isn't your normal high school hoops matchup. Yes, there's music, cheering and a basketball court, but the students aren't the athletes, robots are. And the students are the mad scientists behind it all.

Six weeks ago, the teams were handed a $6,000 toolkit and told to "create!"

Because of the high cost of participation, many schools, like D.C.'s Bell Multicultural High School team had to find sponsors.

"That allowed us to purchase all the parts and be competitive which is exciting because most of these students come from backgrounds where their parents can't support the team," says math teacher Brian Wheeler.

Wheeler is coaching the team, which is made up of a variety of kids, including a track star, a kid who used to goof off all the time in class, and then the computer whiz, Milkyas Tessema.

"I came in here not knowing anything about programming and I was able to learn about how we process the image through the camera and we're able to center the hoops using the camera," explains Tessema.

Wheeler says Tessema's talents would have largly gone untapped if weren't for this robotics competition.

NPR

'This Fight Begins In The Heart': Reading James Baldwin As Ferguson Seethes

Protests in Ferguson, Mo., continue in response to the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by police on Aug. 9. The incident reminds author Laila Lalami of James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son.
NPR

Specialty Food And Agriculture Startups Are Ripening In Greece

Sotiris Lymperopoulos left a good job in Athens to collect wild sea greens for upscale restaurants. Food startups like his may be able to generate thousands of new jobs in post-crisis Greece.
NPR

With Ferguson, Obama Forced To Confront Race Yet Again

President Obama's carefully avoided taking sides following the shooting of Missouri teen Michael Brown, disappointing some African-American observers.
NPR

Ex-Microsoft CEO Ballmer Steps Down From Company's Board

Steve Ballmer, 58, on Tuesday resigned from the software giant's board because of other time consuming commitments including his new ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.