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Robotics & Engineering

Master the Future

Northwood School's robotics programs transform students from passive users to active creators. Through introductory and applied courses and participation in a robotics co-curricular option, students learn engineering, design, coding, and programming concepts essential to the field. They then employ these concepts to design, fabricate, wire, and program functioning robots. 

The end result? An automated, mobile machine piloted by wireless controls built entirely by students who possess the scientific knowledge, mechanical skills, and practical experience to improve and advance technology. 

Test Your Skills

After students master introductory concepts in the classroom, they can choose to be a part of one of our robotics teams which competes against other high schools in the FIRST division.

Here’s what the robotics program delivers:

  • A combination of science and engineering instruction through hands-on projects.
  • The opportunity to design and build robots with LEGO MINDSTORMS, Hummingbird, VEX, and FIRST robotics kits.
  • A chance to use logic skills and programming languages to automate machines.
  • The option to participate in high-level, international competition on FIRST FRC Team 6300 and/or VEX VRC Team 12946

Robotics Course Offerings

Northwood School offers beginner and advanced robotics courses to introduce students to the hands-on, project-based applications of the engineering process. Students design, build, test, and program robots, utilizing the programming languages and logic skills covered in the course curriculum. Students will develop logic skills, gain proficiency in appropriate programming languages and will develop an intimate understanding of the engineering design process and the mechanical, electrical, and software components of robotics. Students will have the opportunity to compete on one of Northwood School’s robotics teams at national/international high school robotics competitions. The integration of 3D printing design and modeling is intended to support skill development in all areas of this course.

Introduction to Robotics and Computer Programming (trimester elective)

Open to all levels.

This course will focus on basic skill development and requires no programming experience. Students will be members of the Northwood VEX EDR robotics team (Team #12946), designing and building robots for the VEX Robotics Competition (during the winter trimester). Students will face game-specific engineering challenges and will be required to develop the necessary skills to build effective robots. A thorough introduction to robot programming using Robot C will help students develop fundamental programming-based logic skills. Grading in this course is based on the successful completion of projects and the level of proficiency in skill areas.

Applied Robotics (honors-level year-long course)

This course is designed to be an intermediate/advanced level course and students are expected to have a basic knowledge or experience with logic and computer programming. Students will be members of the Northwood FIRST FRC robotics team (Team #6300). Students will design and build industrial robots from scratch – mastering the fundamental concepts in the process. Mechanical assembly, drive train design, electrical wiring, Java programming, mechanical engineering, and robot command and control are skills students will develop in this process. This course will employ advanced 3D printing tools and develop skills for 3D model and part design. Grading in this course is based on the successful completion of projects and the level of proficiency in skill areas.

Introduction to 3D Modeling and Fabrication (trimester elective)

Open to all levels.

This course introduces modern 3D design, modeling, and fabrication skills. Students learn basic CAD drawing and assembly skills to create software-based models. Spatial resolution, dimensioning and part integration skills are developed through a series of design projects. Students develop an understanding of CAD software and file management in the creation of 3D parts. 3D printing, CNC (computer numeric control) routing, and laser cutting/engraving machines are utilized to bring CAD designs to life. Students are trained in the use of these machines and develop an understanding of the design and prototyping process from start to finish. Finally, model evaluation, fabrication troubleshooting, and quality control techniques give students who complete the course the ability to design, draw, and create their own high-end products.

Northwood Academic Programs