LEWISTOWN – Indian Lake Schools and Honda Transmission Manufacturing in Russells Point plan to expand their partnership to teach robotics and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) concepts to students throughout the district.
Members of the two Indian Lake Middle School Robotics teams took a tour of the facility and made a presentation to the Honda Young Professionals group Jan. 29. The students explained how they mastered building and programming robots after school this fall and detailed the missions their robots were able to complete.
Sixth grader Dylan Carter told the HYP group, “I learned I was good at building the robot and others were at programming the robot. But I got good at programming, too. It taught us a lot about teamwork.”
Honda Transmission Gear Department Head Craig Schaub reached out to Indian Lake Schools last summer because he felt a partnership between the business and school could serve a dual purpose. “We struggle to find technical professionals from the area. We’d like to see some of these students in our Young Professionals Group in the future as HTM associates,” he said.
The 2015-16 ILMS Robotics teams were made possible by a $5,000 grant from Honda Transmission Manufacturing that Schaub initiated. Two groups of fifth, sixth and seventh graders were able to participate in the First Lego Robotics League with kits purchased from Lego Mindstorm. Honda Transmission engineers Joe Pietrykowski and JB Kirkendall assisted ILMS science teachers Jana Core and Christina Fullerton in coaching the teams at local robotics competitions.
After the team presentations, Honda Transmission Manufacturing Company Services Division Manager Mike Fagan presented a check for an additional $8,500 to Indian Lake Schools Superintendent Pat O’Donnell and ILMS Co-Principal Missy Mefford. The donation will be used to fund four robotics teams for the 2016-17 school year at Indian Lake Middle School and one at the high school. Mefford says the expanded program will allow select students in grades four and up to participate.
“We’ve already got more teachers volunteering to coach and dozens of students excited to learn,” she said.
Submitted by Indian Lake Local Schools.