Bankhead Middle School

May 19, 2023 by Anita Reid

Banner School Award Logo


Walker County Schools

Principal, Mrs. Amber Freeman

Superintendent, Dr. Dennis Willingham


Bankhead Middle School began an after-school robotics program in 2011. In 2022, as part of full implementation of VEX Robotics, Bankhead included robotics as a part of the fifth-grade curriculum for all students during their STEM Connections class. The school also sponsored nine competition robotics teams at the elementary, middle, and high school level. With all competitors sharing a workspace from grades 5-12, it bred a natural collaborative workspace in which the students learned from one another. Three of these teams advanced to the VEX Worlds Competition in Dallas, Texas where students competed against 800 teams from more than 40 different countries. Two teams won a Worlds trophy in their very first year of competition, and one team lent a member to Team Japan as they were only able to get one member to the competition. The success of the program was so evident that the Alabama Power Foundation and Walker Area Community Foundation donated $250,000 to replicate Bankhead’s program in all Walker County and Jasper City Schools. The program also drew the attention of ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell during a visit to Cordova, which led to more funding to provide Work Cell robots and certification as well as drone competitions. Blue Devil Robotics is creating tomorrow’s workforce.