Perkiomen Valley High School robotics program receives gift of new equipment.
Perkiomen Valley High School’s newly formed Vikings Robotics Team is ready to move full-steam ahead into the competition season with some new equipment.
The work station equipment, which is valued at $4,690, was delivered by trailer on Jan. 2 and is a gift from FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Mid-Atlantic and the Argosy Foundation, which supports people and programs that make society a better place to live. FIRST Mid-Atlantic sought the grant from Argosy to support rookie teams in the Mid-Atlantic region, and Perkiomen Valley High School, 509 Gravel Pike in Collegeville, was chosen as the beneficiary.
Students from the Vikings Robotics Team gathered outside to assist with carrying in the various pieces of equipment into school on Jan. 2. They were joined by school district representatives and Joe Troy and Herb Katz, from the FIRST Mid-Atlantic organization, which is a non-profit organization that promotes and implements FIRST Robotics Competition programs for Delaware, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. Troy is FIRST Mid-Atlantic’s Program Director, and Mr. Katz is FIRST Mid-Atlantic’s Development Director.
The equipment the students received includes a tool chest filled with wrenches, screwdrivers, drills and drill bits, as well as a 3-D printer, a band saw, a miter saw, a belt sander, and other valuable devices.
About 20 Perkiomen Valley High School students, led by high school junior Mitchell Stomel, have been working together over the past several months to secure a variety of grants to assist with the start-up of their club. So far, the students have been awarded grants from Apple, Lockheed Martin, the PVSD Foundation, and more. The grant funds will be used to purchase equipment and parts, as well as to pay for fees associated with joining various regional competitions.
The Jan. 2 gift will go toward helping the students get started on the monthslong process of building a robot for competition. The season begins Jan. 5, when this year’s game is announced, and is followed by a six-week build season to construct a robot before competitions start. The robots students make are substantial, weighing up to 120 pounds. Students design in CAD prototype solutions and then fabricate their custom robot with metal, wood and 3Dprinted parts. Bots can be powered by batteries and operated by student-written software, and can use motors, pneumatics, encoders, cameras and other sensors.
Students who belong to the Vikings Robotics Team pose with the donated equipment.
Herb Katz, left, and Joe Troy speak to the students about what lies ahead in the robotics competition season. Mr. Katz, Development Director for FIRST Mid-Atlantic, and Mr. Troy, Program Director for FIRST Mid-Atlantic, helped secure the donation of equipment to Perkiomen Valley High School as part of a larger effort to support rookie teams in the MidAtlantic region.
Mitchell Stomel from the Perkiomen Valley High School Vikings Robotics Team had the honor of unlocking the tool chest donated by FIRST Mid-Atlantic and the Argosy Foundation on Jan. 2.