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Scarlet Oaks takes second in national FANUC robotics challenge

From left:  Instructor Mark Jackson, Jesse Potts, Paul Aiello

Jesse Potts of Deer Park helped Great Oaks Career Campuses become the second place winner of the FANUC America Advanced Automation Challenge, which required participating schools to design a new ProjectBased Learning Kit (PBL) highlighting robotic automation and technology.  FANUC launched the challenge to encourage students to use their STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills and apply them in the real world.

Potts, a recent graduate in Engineering Technologies and Robotics at Scarlet Oaks Career Campus, created a robotic palletizing program which included a custom-made tool.

In the Engineering Technologies and Robotics program, high school students learn to program FANUC and other robotic equipment as well as learn 3D modeling, CNC programming, and other technical and engineering skills.

“Our Engineering Technologies and Robotics program incorporates FANUC simulation software, robots and curriculum,” said Mark Jackson, Certified Education Robot Training (CERT) instructor at Great Oaks.  “I would compare our training to FANUC’s robotic handling class (HandlingTool) which is quite advanced for the high school level.  Some students move on to even more advanced robot concepts, becoming specialists in programming FANUC robots.”

FANUC America introduced its CERT program in 2008 to help counter the increasing skills gap.  CERT prepares students to work with the same robotics and automation that are used in industry today.

As the second place winner, Great Oaks received two teaching pendants and a PC Conversion kit.  They were presented by Paul Aiello of FANUC, who praised Jesse’s work. “We invited over 400 high schools, community colleges, and universities to take this challenge,” he said.  “You created a unique tool and program to solve the problem.  We were really excited to see your work.”

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