The local learning centre has received $5,000 from Telus for a robotics program.
Representatives from Telus presented a cheque to students and administrators at the Seven Summits Centre for Learning last Wednesday. The funding will enable the school to run a robotics program for Grade 8 and 9 students starting in January.
“We’re basing our first class off of the RoboGames that is in the Interior Kootenay area,” explained Adam King, a science and math teacher and former coach of a FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team in Oregon, who moved to Rossland in July.
The goal will be to compete in the RoboGames using an Arduino platform robot.
“Learn how to program it, do a little bit of engineering, and the ultimate test will be them competing at the games,” said King.
The RoboGames is taking place on April 29, which will give students the better part of four months to prepare.
Joen Schader, acting manager for the Nelson Telus home team, and Mike Grant, manager for Trail, Castlegar and Grand Forks home teams, were pleased to present the $5,000 on behalf of the Telus Community Action Team.
“I wish I would have had this program when I was younger because that’s what I took — electronics. I went to NAIT for a couple of years to take electronics, specifically to get into robotics. … I’m curious to see how this is going to work,” said Grant.
Asked if the robotics program had been dependent on receiving the grant, Sue McBride, administrator and special education mentor for Seven Summits, said, “I would say yes because we’ve purchased only a couple of robots and it’s not enough to run it for all the kids.”
With the money, the school can now provide at least one bot for every two students and can even run a program for the community.
“We can make it an after-school community program as well,” said McBride.
Though the school program is for Grade 8 and 9 students, Grade 10-12 students can also participate if they like.