UW Tacoma students set out to build Rubik’s Cube-solving robot

Four UW Tacoma clubs — the Math Club, the UWT chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, HuSCII Coding and Women in Coding — have come together in order to build a robot that will be able to solve a Ru­bik’s Cube. The end goal for this club collaboration is to have the robot ready by May to show off during the Mini- Maker Faire.

Meeting every other Friday in JOY 110, this project was initiated by Kata­lina Biondi — Associated Students of UWT senator for the Institute of Tech­nology and vice president of the Math Club. Biondi brought the four clubs together as part of a goal set by herself, the Math Club and ASUWT.

“[This project] started when [the] Math Club was talking about our goals for the next year and what we wanted to do,” Biondi said. “I thought it would be really cool to work on a project to include other clubs. It also worked out because, as a senator, we have to make SMART goals every year. One of my goals was that I really wanted to work on a project that used a lot of RSO col­laboration … to get underclassmen in­volved and let the school know that clubs can work together.”

ASUWT board and senate members have been making it a point this year to work more on getting clubs to collabo­rate with each other. During the spring elections, several board and senate members ran on a platform supporting more on-campus cross-organizational communication and collaboration. This project, besides including four clubs, brings together students from the Sci­ence and Mathematics division and School of Engineering and Technology.

Along with UWT organizations, the Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Mathematics Learning Network — known as STEAM, a collaboration network organized by Graduate Taco­ma! — as well as members of the great­er Tacoma STEM community are hop­ing to bring a Mini-Maker Faire to the UWT campus in May.

The Maker Faire is a globally trav­elling exhibition dedicated to tinker­ers and engineers and their creations. Mini-Maker Faires are smaller, com­munity-driven fairs. Seattle recently held a Mini-Makers Faire in August where robot enthusiasts, among oth­er groups of people, were able to show off what they made

Members collaborating on this project hope to learn many different useful life experiences from this col­laboration. The project promotes learning better social skills and inter­actions amongst multiple smaller groups, which is reflective of real-world work environments.

Addie Jacobsen, president of Math Club, believes that this project will help many students be able to better explain the language of mathematics to the uninitiated.

“It’s a very powerful skill to be able to have an abstract level of mathematics in your backpocket and being able to communicate that to people,” Jacobsen said. “Being able to put that in everyday language so people [without a] math major can understand is a valuable skill.”

PHOTO BY SARAH SMITH