Unified Robotics Championship at Pacific Science Center in program developed by King's High student

Sunday, November 27, 2016

CyberKnights Unified Robotics
King's High School photo

Unified Robotics Championship at Pacific Science Center
Helping Bridge the Opportunity Gap for High School Students

Collaborate. Build. Compete. Students with special needs have the opportunity of a lifetime with Special Olympics Unified Robotics. This “sport for the mind” is spreading like wildfire across Washington state and beyond; fifteen high schools competing in its inaugural season.

The opportunity gap for high school students with special needs is staggering. The unemployment rate for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disabilities is twice as high as for the general population, according to a nationwide study by Special Olympics.

Unified Robotics provides hands-on learning experience and prepares students for future careers in STEM fields. The program is adaptable for students of all levels of learning; diversity is embraced in Unified Robotics.

Pacific Science Center is hosting the Unified Robotics Championship, open to the public, on December 3, 2016 from 10am – 4pm.

Over 32 teams will compete and present their unique robot designs while encouraging others through team spirit activities.

Featured speakers, Will Daugherty (Pacific Science Center CEO) and Dave Lenox (Special Olympics Washington CEO) will welcome guests before the competition. Senator Joe Fain and Dr. Gary Stobbe (Director of UW Adult Autism Clinic) are among other VIP event judges.

“The fact that our athletes are meaningfully contributing to building robots sends a message to the world that this population has untapped talent and wisdom waiting to be discovered and utilized.” – Dave Lenox, CEO Special Olympics Washington

Unified Robotics was founded last year by then King’s High School senior, Delaney Foster, an active advocate for inclusive education. Foster, whose sister is diagnosed with ASD, has seen firsthand the opportunity gap that exists in high schools. Students with ASD and/or intellectual disabilities are often excluded from extracurricular activities, and even elective classes, because of lack of accommodations or ability to provide modifications.


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