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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. — Instead of teaching, some local teachers are learning this week. The training is a part of “Mission 200” within Auburn University’s SCORE program.

The mission of “Southeastern Center of Robotics Education” is to inspire and prepare future generations of STEM professionals by developing and delivering student robotics programs, online robotics resources, and professional development for educators.

Mission 200 is a partnership between the Southeastern Center of Robotics Education (SCORE) at Auburn University and the REC Foundation. During the 2019-20 school year, they aim to start 200 new VEX-IQ elementary and middle school robotics competition teams in the states of Alabama and Tennessee, with a focus on rural, urban, and under-resourced schools.

Marshall County is hosting the training at Marshall Technical School on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Assistant Director of SCORE, Jennifer Spencer, says the training, whether for teachers or students, is more than learning about robotics. “Yes, they’re getting programming and computer science,” says Spencer. “Yes, they’re getting engineering design process by actually building. But they are learning lifelong skills about perseverance, about failure and how it’s okay to fail and overcome those failures.”

The teachers get to take a VEX robotics kit back to their school in order to teach students more about the STEM field within the classroom.

As of September, “Mission 200” has surpassed their 200 team goal of 2019 by building 210 new teams in Alabama and 20 in Tennessee.