Boe-Bot robots and a fun introduction to coding

July 3, 2024

Boe-Bot robots and a fun introduction to coding

Students from around East Tennessee spent a week in June 2024 building and programming their very own robot, called a Boe-Bot. Working in teams, the rising 7th through 9th graders designed and coded bots to complete challenges. Each day, students built onto skills they had learned the day before. ORISE hosted the Boe-Bots Academy on ORAU’s main campus in Oak Ridge, Tenn., to encourage students in critical thinking and to inspire a love of STEM learning.

“We learned how to code robots with the coding language PBasic,” said Elizabeth Phillips, a rising 7th grader at West Valley Middle School in Knoxville, Tenn. “And, we learned a lot about sensors—how to code them so they do a specific thing and how to make the sensor work to your advantage. We even created an obstacle course.”

She went on to explain that, at first, the obstacle courses were on the ground but became progressively more challenging. One of the most difficult tests was navigating her robot through an obstacle course set up on a table and keeping the bot from falling to the floor. Because the devices are not controlled by remote but rather by pre-programming, understanding how to program a sensor was an important skill.

Boe-Bot robots and a fun introduction to coding

The course is for beginners, and the class of 2024 caught on quickly. Boe-Bots Academy is just one of a handful of free courses available to students through ORISE this summer.

Learn more about free ORISE student enrichment opportunities.

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Phone: 865.207.7953

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination.

ORISE is managed by ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, for DOE’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit