Darlington School: Episode 42: A Look Into Upper School Robotics 
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Episode 42: A Look Into Upper School Robotics

January 27, 2022 | 422 views

Welcome to Episode 42 of The Darlington Podcast! 

In this episode, Science Department Chairman Owen Kinney talks with sophomore Charlie May about Darlington's Upper School robotics program. The team, known as the DarBots, recently finished in first place at a FIRST Tech Challenge tournament, which qualifies them to move on to the state competition. 

About FIRST: FIRST Tech Challenge teams are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles, while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and working as a team. The robot kit is reusable from year to year and can be coded using a variety of levels of Java-based programming. Teams design and build robots, raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach to earn specific awards. Participants are eligible to apply for $80M+ in college scholarships. Each season concludes with regional championship events and an exciting FIRST Championship. Click here to read more about FIRST. 

Owen Kinney, chairman of the science department, has taught Environmental Science, Robotics and Zoology at the Upper School since 1999 and also serves as coach of the DarBots robotics team. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Berry College and an M.S. in Ecology from the University of Georgia. During his tenure at Darlington, he has been recognized with several teaching honors, including the Beachum, Awsumb, and Betts Master Teacher Awards. Kinney was also named a Toyota International Teacher in 2006, and in 2010 he received a Fulbright Award to study Education for Sustainable Development in Japanese schools. 

Click here to learn more about the integrated technology program Darlington >>


The Darlington Podcast is a collaboration between the communication and advancement teams, and is hosted by various members of the school community. Episodes are released each Thursday morning and available on most podcast platforms (search for The Darlington Podcast in your podcast player). Once new episodes are posted, you'll also be able to find them at www.darlingtonschool.org/podcast. Please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so that you'll get the latest episode each week! 

The Darlington Podcast intro music was written and performed by Elliot Luitwieler ('22) and Kathryn Davidson ('22). Carson Raymond, director of major gifts, lends his voice, and the editing and production of this episode was handled by Maddie Fox, content manager.

If you have ideas for future episodes or have any questions about The Darlington Podcast, please email communications@darlingtonschool.org