Donations Arrive At PV For Rookie Robotics Team

Gifts Arrive For Valley's Rookie Robotics Team

PV High junior Mitchell Stomel unlocks a tool chest donated to the high school robotics team

COLLEGEVILLE PA – A trailer-load of new equipment valued at more than $4,600, intended to help Perkiomen Valley High School‘s newly formed Vikings’ robotics team kick off its competitive season, arrived Wednesday (Jan. 2, 2019) at the 509 Gravel Pike educational complex. The work station and accompanying tools are a gift from two supporters of innovative technologies.

A group of students eagerly joined Perkiomen Valley School District representatives and those of the donor organizations to help unload the building bench and a hefty tool chest filled with wrenches, screwdrivers, drills and drill bits. There was a 3-D printer, too, as wells as a band saw, a miter saw, a belt sander, and other valuable devices.

All are gifts of FIRST Mid-Atlantic, a New Jersey-based non-profit created to promote robotics competition programs, and the Argosy Foundation of Milwaukee WI, a private family foundation created by a co-founder of medical devices manufacturer Boston Scientific.

Gifts Arrive For Valley's Rookie Robotics Team

Vikings’ Robotics Team members unite around the donated equipment that arrived Wednesday

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) obtained an Argosy grant to support rookie robotics teams in the Mid-Atlantic region, and Perkiomen Valley was among its happy recipients. Joe Troy, FIRST Mid-Atlantic’s program director, and Herb Katz, its development director, were on hand to present the cargo.

About 20 PV High students, led by junior Mitchell Stomel, have worked together over the past several months to secure a variety of grants to assist with the team’s start-up. So far, it’s won grants from Apple, Lockheed Martin, the district foundation, and others. Those funds are being used to buy equipment and parts, as well as to pay fees to join various robotics competitions.

With grants and tools now in hand, students must get started on the months-long process of building a robot for competition. The season begins actually begins Saturday (Jan. 5), when this year’s game is announced. It is followed by six weeks of intense robot construction in advance of the competition.

Robots created by student teams are substantial, and weigh up to 120 pounds. Students design their custom robots as prototypes using computer-assisted design software, then assemble them from metal, wood and 3D-printed parts.

The ‘bots, as they’re known, rely on motors, pneumatics, encoders, cameras and other sensors to complete tasks, can be powered by batteries, and controlled by student-written software.

Donations Arrive At PV For Rookie Robotics Team

FIRST Mid-Atlantic representatives Herb Katz, left, and Joe Troy talk with students about what lies ahead in the robotics competition season

Photos from the Perkiomen Valley School District

  1. Lynn margolis says:

    I am very impressed that you are on the ground running. Good luck and I hope to see some of the competition down the road. 3D printer!

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