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Robotics is building momentum in RPS 205

Inventor Dean Kamen considers the FIRST Robotics Competition one of his best inventions yet.

According to an April 8 Wall Street Journal story, Kamen – the inventor of the Segway, the portable dialysis machine and a stair-climbing wheelchair – is convinced building robots is key to students building careers in technology.

Teresa Beach-Shelow, the owner of Superior Joining Technologies, is convinced, too. The local fabrication company earlier this year supported RPS 205 robotics teams with a $3,000 sponsorship. And not only that:  Beach-Shelow and her husband, Thom, have volunteered at least 230 hours working with the FIRST Lego League at Eisenhower Middle School. Beach-Shelow says robotics is important for students because it gives them exposure to making things, programming computers, applying math and science concepts and being a part of a team–all in a competitive but affirming environment.  “This sets students up for scholarship,  job and career advancement opportunities,” she said.

Chris Magee shares their evangelism for robotics. Magee, a College and Careers Academy coach at Guilford High School, is a mentor for Rockford Robotics.   She has overseen the creation of 27 robotics teams at 19 Rockford Public Schools. The teams are at three levels– Jr. FIRST Lego League (ages 6-9), FIRST Lego League (ages 9-14) and FIRST Tech Challenge (high school).

Robotics girl

Now you can support robotics in RPS 205, too. FIRST Illinois Robotics has partnered with Leadership Rockford and RPS 205 to present the First Annual RPS 205 FIRST Robotics Fundraiser. The event is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 21, at Giovanni’s.

Reserve your tickets here. Select the “Donations” link and choose Stiles Elementary as the school from the dropdown menu for payment purposes only. Tickets are $40; that amount should be entered in the donation field. There will be a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction.

Mary Kaull is communications coordinator for the Rockford Public Schools. Click here to subscribe to this blog. Also, please like RPS 205 on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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