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Parker Robotics Club: Setting the Table for Innovation


At A. H. Parker High School, Robotics club seniors participated in a STEM project that introduced them to project management, artistic design, teamwork, and technology. Through GEAR UP Birmingham and a partnership with Project Focus Consulting, the students had the opportunity to design a coffee table that would help prepare a student for virtual learning at home. The project was broken into the intermediate challenges that focused on different aspects of the best functionality and efficiency.


The students' first task was to consider the functionality and the pros and cons of having a virtual learning coffee table that students could use to participate in a virtual classroom. Through deliberation, the students concluded that storage space was an important issue in a virtual learning setting. After brainstorming, the students completed a blueprint drawing that geometrically displayed the usability, efficiency, and comfortability of the storage space within the Virtual Learning coffee table.


After completing the blueprint drawing, the students' next challenge was to creatively incorporate the school logo with LED lighting somewhere within the table. Collaboratively, the students decided that the A. H. Parker logo would fit in the center of the table with lights coming from inside. Moreover, in preparation for construction, a three-dimensional image of the complete design was drafted, and the students conducted a cost analysis of the materials needed for construction.


The Parker Robotics Club, Project Focus Consulting, and GEAR UP Birmingham's objectives are to expose our students to skills and training needed to prepare them for future endeavors while allowing them to familiarize themselves with cutting-edge technology and equipment commonly used by industry professionals. By Project Focus Consulting providing the equipment used for construction, our students understood the process of planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing. For future designs, a new group of students will incorporate electrical outlets and USB multi-port connections within the storage compartment, which will provide more functionality.


This STEM-based project was entirely student-led, and the advisors were strictly facilitators. Special thanks to the entire GEAR UP Birmingham staff for funding this venture. The completion of this project is possible by the following senior students: Oriana Coleman, DeShaun Wormsby, and Saidah Royal. The Parker advisor Mr. Mychal Thomas and the Project Focus Consulting advisor, Mr. Delane Knight, are commended for working closely with these students.