Peanuts. Peanuts. Peanuts.
The chant reverberated through theBurnsMiddle Schoolauditorium.
The group of students clapped and cheered. Some of the girls did cartwheels and handsprings.
Although the excitement and noise sounded like at an athletic event, it was all about science and technology atBurnsMiddle SchoolSaturday.
The school hosted a robotics competition with teams from Grover, Fallston, Burns Middle and Shelby Intermediate schools participating.
Bill Kent, vice president of CyberKids Robotics, a non-profit education company that focuses on teaching kids science and math skills, said the teams have been working on building and programming their robots since September.
Kentsaid this years theme was food safety.
He said the students did research on one food product, such as an egg, from the time it hits the nest to when it is eaten.
During the competition, teams did a robot performance and completed a challenge.
It teaches them problem solving, critical thinking skills, technology, lots of math skills and pre-engineering,Kentsaid.
He said at one of the competitions, a parent told him it was the most fun her child had had at an intellectual event.
Out of the eight teams, four advanced to the Western North Carolina Robotics Championship on April 21 atCatawbaValleyCommunity College inHickory.
Students from all over the region will participate.
Kentsaid the program is for students in the fourth through 12th grades.
Coleman Walker, sixth grade student fromShelbyIntermediateSchool, said he was part of the Cyber Banana team that studied bananas and how they rot.
Engineering is very important in food, he said.
He said the team performed a skit and he got to dress up as a banana.
During the presentation, Coleman said the team covered the process from picking to shipping to buying to what happens when the fruit begins to rot.
He said his team won third place and will be going on to the championship in April.
Principal Ann Caldwell, said the robotics program is a good way to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses to students.
She said this is the first yearClevelandCountystudents have participated in the robotics program
Reach reporter Rebecca Clark at 704-669-3344