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On Saturday I witnessed 4th, 5th, and 6th graders from Liberty Elementary School Robotics Club transform into Robotic Surgeons. And what a sight it was! SHARP Chula Vista Medical Center invited twenty local students to a private tour of South Bay’s only hospital to integrate robotics to cutting edge surgery.
Dressed in full scrubs, each child simulated procedures and learned robotic applications beyond the classroom. Such opportunities included handling consoles, dissecting robotic arms and operating a robotic surgical table. The children were also given the opportunity to discuss robotic surgery with local experts and doctors.
“This experience teaches children real-life applications of robotics while giving them something to strive for,” Julian Anthony, M.D. I couldn’t agree with him more. While many children spend their Saturday morning’s playing graphic games such as Call of Duty, Halo, and Mortal Combat, SHARP Chula Vista Medical Center encouraged these kids to further develop their passion for robotics.
Kudos to the parents for investing their time and efforts to fostering such skills in their kids’ lives. “The Robotics Club runs mainly by efforts of our volunteers. One hour classes held every week for nine weeks and then a new group starts,” Baltazar Perez, Robotics Club Coordinator at Liberty Elementary School. The kids in the club learn to create robotic arms, small vehicles that move forward, backwards and turn right and left. They also learn to create robotic vehicles with sensors that identify colors, lights and distance.
The parents support this homegrown program by paying $30 to $50 per child for a 9 week session. Students may chose to join one session or up to four sessions each year. The annual cost of $200 per child can be discouraging to families with multiple children.
Perez, “We have great volunteers and parents who care. We are in need of is local businesses willing to sponsors and support the program.” Passionate about his role, Perez personally donates supplies and bears some of the costs to keep the club fees down. He hopes lower fees will encourage participation.
More kudos to Laura Fox, Senior Marketing & Communications Specialist at SHARP Chula Vista Medical Center for allowing our local children to learn about robotics and their role in medicine.
SHARP Chula Vista is dedicated to inspiring students to learn about health care, science and technology. A 343-bed hospital with the largest array of health care services in San Diego’s South Bay, Sharp Chula Vista is home to the region’s most comprehensive cardiac program, the area’s only certified Community Hospital Cancer Program, a radiation oncology center and a Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Center.