Daily Reports




Trojan Athletes Scoring Big With Community Service

CARROLLTON, GA — On Sept. 2, just before Auburn University’s much-anticipated home opening football game for the 2023 season, the Southeastern Center of Robotics Education (SCORE) rolled out the red carpet for four special visitors from Carrollton High School’s girls basketball team — Madison Swint, Madison Reese, Daija Preston, and Seriya Williams.

The young ladies went to Auburn to participate in a volunteer initiative with the Jonathan Jones Next Step Foundation where they dedicated their time to assist at the concession stand. They were also given the opportunity to tour SCORE Auburn.

“I had previously run into Jonathan at his latest youth football camp that he held here on campus,” shared Shon Thomaston, CHS girls basketball coach. “I made it clear that if there were ever charitable opportunities where we could lend a hand, we would be wholeheartedly committed. Jonathan introduced me to Ms. Ashley Green, who operates the Jonathan Jones Foundation in collaboration with other members of his family. She, along with the Foundation, extended an opportunity for our girls to accumulate volunteer and service hours by working concessions at an Auburn football game.”

Jennifer Spencer, assistant director at SCORE Auburn, gave a warm welcome to the girls and invited them to jump into the world of educational robotics during their visit.

As part of their tour, the group was introduced to the iRobot Root Pro. After a quick demonstration illustrating how to program the robot to draw a square, the girls tackled the challenge of coding the robot to make a triangle.

Engaging in discussions involving angles and measurements, Spencer said, “I want you all to know that I have you doing math and geometry on a Saturday, and no one is even mad about it!”

The girls’ smiles and curiosity is part of why Spencer says she loves the work she does.

“The way their eyes lit up when they programmed the robot to change colors and say ‘hello’ is why I am so passionate about what educational robotics can do,” she said. “We are excited about what the future of this partnership holds and are anxious to get into Carrollton City Schools with more robotics.”

Junior Madison Swint said she and her teammates enjoyed their visit.

“We got some insight about the background of robotics in schools which was neat,” she said. “It was also nice to give back to the community working the concession stand at the game. It was a very fun experience!”

SCORE stands as a beacon of K-12 robotics education, embodying Auburn University’s mission of outreach, not only within Alabama but also extending its impact beyond state lines.

A collaborative effort is now under way between the Next Step Foundation, iRobot, the Southeastern Center of Robotics Education (SCORE) at Auburn University, and Carrollton City Schools, as they build a partnership with the goal of delivering more iRobots to the students of Carrollton.

The future looks bright as these organizations work together further enrich educational opportunities in robotics for young minds.


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