By Ashley Franklin
Lynn Camp High School held its FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Stronghold Competition in October of 2016. FIRST Stronghold is a robotic quest in a medieval setting. The goal is to breach opponents' forts, weaken defenses, and capture towers using catapults and balls. The students have six weeks to build a completely autonomous robot – which means it drives itself.
Arthur Canada is the coach that leads the way. Canada is the technology education teacher at Lynn Camp High School in Knox County. This is his 29th year teaching. He is currently the coach of the engineering club. Like any club, it requires after school participation, however, his students go above and beyond. During the competition season, his students will work on the robots every day after school and on Saturdays.
“These students are dedicated, they even [came] in on snow days 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.,” said Canada.
Canada gives all the credit to his students and is very proud of all their accomplishments during the season. He even carries a broken robot fragment from the 2015 competition on his keychain.
Lynn Camp is teamed up with two other high schools in Knox County and is part of a program that only has nine teams in the state.
Canada is preparing students to be tomorrow’s engineers. The middle school even has an engineering club that builds LEGO robots, that catapult balls into goals.
Engineering is a difficult and competitive field. It requires intense schooling, but it offers a promising future. Canada's students have expressed interest in University of Louisville's Speed School, mechanical engineering, and chemical engineering.
Canada is dedicated to teaching his students essential, versatile skills. Computer coding is knowledge required for operating their robots. It is a trade his student must learn in their free time.
“It’s so important, I think kids should learn coding as early as elementary school,” said Canada.
Acting as a teacher, coach, and an experienced role model, Canada has shaped our region by giving his students the skills they need to be successful in the future.