Special Olympics Unified Robotics is a student-designed and student-implemented robotics program that originated in Washington state. The program brings the world of STEM and the sport of robotics to high school students interested in STEM—including many students who are often excluded from extracurricular activities. Unified Robotics is open to students with and without intellectual disabilities, as well as students with a variety of learning and behavior challenges. The program includes an equal number of participants as robotics team partners to train, strategize, and compete. Team partners work one on one with “athletes” (students with intellectual disabilities) to build robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS kits. Small teams create their own robot, including designing, building, and programming the robot. At a final tournament-style competition, each team presents its robot and the robot’s features, and competes in a game.
With the new Mission to Marsapp for iOS, users can drive a rover, walk the Martian surface, and play robot geologist, all in augmented reality. The Mission to Mars appoffers seven experiences, starting with an overview of Martian geography.