PIERCETON — Beverly Reid and Margaret Simison, who represent the local Lions Club, are pillars of the Pierceton community. Simison serves as the club president and Reid is the club secretary. Monday, the pair visited Pierceton Elementary School to present the school’s Project Lead the Way Teacher, Ashley Roberts and her students, with a donation.
Roberts leads the PES robotics team, and along with Principal Mike McClain they were presented with a $1,500 check to assist with costs toward the robotics program. But the generosity did not stop there; the Lions Club is already discussing other ways they may contribute to the program; whether through their volunteer efforts, or by way
of helping students with a team t-shirt.
When asked how it felt to present a check to the students, Simison stated, “They made a presentation to the Lions Club and it was great!”
Principal McClain was equally excited, “Glad we got it – I was elated!” Principal McClain went on to share that the donation had extremely positive implications for the future of the program.
The robotics team program is unique from other competitions in that it rewards teams who have effective communication and collaboration with other teams. All teams collaborate during the competition to earn points together throughout multiple rounds, and it isn’t until the end that the individual scores reveal the winner. Yet, each team has the ability to point to the final score and recognize they were a contributor to the winning team’s success.
In order to compete in a robotics tournament, PES’ team began construction on their robot “Smacker” in October. Smacker, as the students have affectionately named him for his ability to give high-5’s, was the team’s robot this year. In February, they hosted their first tournament, and 4 schools competed overall.
“We’ll be able to triple our teams as a result of this donation,” explained Roberts after the check presentation. A team typically works within about 12 students who engage in problem solving, engineering, and critical thinking in order to fine tune their robot’s skills. At PES students are allowed to join the robotics team in the third grade.