Robot helps students take a STAND against tobacco products

Published:Kingman Daily Miner Sunday, March 23, 2014


PHOENIX — Students Taking A New Direction (STAND) Arizona’s anti-smoking youth coalition unveiled its latest tool in tobacco control education before legislators and advocates at the Arizona State Capitol last week.

The Take Aim at Tobacco student-made robot exhibition was part of STAND Legislative Day where hundreds of STAND members from across Arizona descended upon the state capitol to educate legislators about anti-smoking initiatives that they are spearheading in their cities and towns.

The legislative event was a way to mark Kick Butts Day recognized on Wednesday.  Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco.

“All of us will remember this day for forever,” said Janea Crum, member of STAND. “Meeting face to face with our representatives and being recognized for the anti-smoking work we are doing in our communities makes me want to do even more to protect people from tobacco.”

“STAND members are an active committed group of youth who represent communities across Arizona,” said Ken Walker, director of program development services, Pima Prevention Partnership. “Today is a testament that support for tobacco control, prevention and education is significant statewide. We should all applaud these young people for their focus and their efforts.”

STAND members spent the morning meeting individually with legislators from their district, followed by a Legislative luncheon and formal program featuring a variety of guest speakers. Youth speakers shared details about the initiatives they are leading at the local level, from banning smoking in public parks to being vigilant of retailers who sell to minors. Other tobacco control advocates were present, including the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network as well as Arizonan’s Concerned About Smoking and Arizona Smoke-free Living.

Also present were members of Red Mountain Plasma Robotics Club who partnered with STAND  to create Engineering Addiction: Take Aim at Tobacco, an anti-smoking education exhibition. The project is the result of collaboration between the school’s theatrical set design students and club members to literally “take aim at tobacco” with a student-made robot.

The robot exhibition measures about 400 square feet. It is an interactive experience that invites the public to maneuver the robot. It starts by asking multiple-choice questions about tobacco, which earns participants the opportunity to work the robot. It is designed to launch Frisbees which are deployed by the “robot controller” into slots on the “wall of education” which is about 12 feet away. The wall is urban art inspired and hand painted, segmented by themes like Addiction, Big Tobacco, Health Effects and Advertising.  The whole event was captured on Twitter at @AZSTAND. Learn more about Arizona’s statewide anti-smoking youth coalition by visiting


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