Perkiomen Val­ley High School ro­bot­ics pro­gram re­ceives gift of new equip­ment.

The Phoenix - - FRONT PAGE - For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

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.

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