Competitions and Clubs
We value competitions and clubs the bring unique real-world opportunities to our students. We are excited by what we offer through our department, as shown below.
Our Morganton and Durham campuses have different histories, faculty, and settings and we have chosen paths that provide the richest robotics experiences to a broad range of students on each campus by taking advantage of the unique qualities of each campus. No matter which campus you are on you can be sure there is an exciting robotics opportunity for you.
Our robotics program on the Durham is well known thanks to the amazing NCSSM FIRST Robotics Team 900, the Zebracorns. The Zebracorns have been sponsored by NCSSM since 2002 and have become internationally recognized for their work with ROS, machine learning, computer vision, and design. They accept students from the community and have also spread the love of robotics through sponsoring teams in FIRST Lego League and FIRST Tech Challenge as well as mentoring a number of new and now well-established teams in North Carolina, including several through its TIGER program. We are thankful to the many mentors, several of whom are alumni and/or from the tech sector, who guide student leadership to create a consistently incredible robotics experience.
NCSSM students on the Zebracorns can earn academic credit through our Competitive Robotics Design course which allows them to formalize their work on the FRC robot and have an authentic data-informed prototype and redesign experience that results in a paper, presentation, or portfolio.
Our Introduction to Robotics course is being upgraded in 2023-2024 to use the VEX robotics system which includes programming in Python and a virtual tool that accelerates learning to program the robot. We combine software and electronics with artistry in our Art, Tech, and Computing course, jointly offered by the Fine Arts and ECS and have other opportunities in electronics in Biomedical Instrumentation and J-term opportunities.