Thirty students have met criteria to join
GALION — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) has become one of the fastest growing areas in public education over the last three to five years. Galion Middle School has recognized that growth and launched a robotics club for students in sixth through eighth grade.
The club, which officially launched Feb. 22, includes nearly 30 members that meet once a week. The requirements to be a part of the club are rather extensive, according club advisor Issac Keinath.
“Students must maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average and have completed the robotics course with a ‘B’ or better,” he said. “Additionally, members should have no school or athletic discipline issues, they must be able to attend all meetings and members must work to his/her fullest potential.”
Students have been working on the basic builds that will help them enter VEX competitions next year.
In the VEX Robotics Competition, teams of students are tasked with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge.
“Examples of the basic builds students are doing include drive systems, lift systems, and others that will help prepare them for more complex builds to enter in the VEX competitons,” Keinath said. “I’ve been assigning projects since we started the club to help students get a better understanding of the basics.”
The VEX Robotics Competitions, which the students in club will be entering during the 2017-2018 school year, will put Classroom STEM concepts to the test as students learn lifelong skills in teamwork, leadership, communications, and more. Tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state, and national levels and culminate at VEX Robotics World Championship each April.
“I challenged our Middle School administrators (Joe Morabito and Brian Kinnard) to develop programs that would excite and engage students to be active, hands-on learners, and they have met and exceeded the challenge,” said Superintendent Jim Grubbs. “The Robotics Club is a fantastic new group for our students, and I greatly appreciate Mr. Keinath’s willingness to lead the club at the Middle School. This kind of program is a game-changer for the Galion City School District.”