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About the Robotics at Durham

The mission of The Zebracorns, a FIRST® Robotics Competition team, is to inspire and empower students across North Carolina to be exceptional innovators and leaders. Our students and adult mentors work together to learn and apply real-life multi-disciplinary skills, fundamental engineering techniques, and cutting-edge technologies through a creative design process within a culture of personal and team excellence.

The Zebracorns is a high school robotics team founded at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. We take students from all over the state and are open to all students! Our season runs every year from August to April where students learn about Mechanical Design, CAD, Proto-typing, Programming, communication, and virtual-reality as well as many other topics.

Additional Opportunities in Robotics at Durham

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. 

Our Computer Science department offers a variety of interdisciplinary introductory courses for those who wish to learn programming and computer science and advanced courses that include Fundamentals of Object Oriented Design, Machine Learning, and Data Structures and Algorithms. Our engineering faculty offer several additional courses important to robotics, including Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Circuits.

The Peter T. Haughton Innovation and Fabrication Lab boasts a variety of digital tools that support robotics, including a CNC mill, waterjet cutter, laser cutters, and 3D printers. Our Mechatronics Lab includes 3D printers that can make structural parts as well as tools to facilitate robot construction and testing. The Mechatronics Lab also hosts our Introduction to Robotics course.

About Robotics at Morganton

Our robotics program at NCSSM-Morganton threads robotics throughout our curriculum, including courses in Introductory Robotics, Robotics Design for Competition, Digital and Robotic Agriculture, J-term experiences, and a summer research experience. We also support independent robotics research. Our experiences are based on the VEX platform through VRC, which may also include VEX AI (depending on interest and availability), underwater robotics through the MATE program, and we are considering offering opportunities related to the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC).

We offer engineering courses important to robotics - Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering - as well as computer science courses - Computing for Everyone, Fundamentals of Object Oriented Design, Machine Learning, and Data Structures and Algorithms. We are currently anticipating the delivery of equipment to the Fabrication Lab that we believe to be unique in a high school setting and which has direct application to fabrication for robotics. VEX AI, MATE, and FTC allow many opportunities for custom manufactured parts. (FRC is not offered at NCSSM-Morganton; however, we understand a community team is open to interested students.  More information is available at FIRST North Carolina.)