Schools step up their STEM game for robotics
By Amanda Tonoli
Robotics team members from Canfield, Austintown and Cardinal Mooney were on hand for an event at Canfield HS where Ohio Rep. John Boccieri described upcoming robotics events as March Mdness of robotics.
Two state representatives congratulated three Valley teams for their hard work in the STEM field and robotics programs.
State Reps. John Boccieri of Poland, D-59th, and Michele Lepore-Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th, discussed the importance of computer science and engineering Monday afternoon at Canfield High School. They met with junior and senior students from Austintown Fitch, Canfield and Cardinal Mooney high schools.
“I love to see so much excitement with young people interested ... in technology,” Lepore-Hagan said. “It is so exciting to see so many avenues opening up to ourselves for college and scholarships.”
Canfield senior Vincent Haniford said he appreciated the challenge of constructing his robot.
“I just like being able to figure out stuff,” he said.
Vincent also liked being able to help the younger students figure out the technical work of robotics.
Teammate and Canfield junior Elijah Mt. Castle said after working with Vincent he now understands there are so many skills to learn when it comes to robotics.
“Really, you just learn a lot about industries,” Elijah said.
Andrew Neider, a Cardinal Mooney senior, said participating in robotics allows for great hands-on experience in the mechanical field.
Cardinal Mooney’s Father Peter Totleben said robotics programs and the emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in high school provide “excellent opportunities to learn STEM skills and engineering skills early on.”
From there, students are able to move on to entire lives within the STEM field.
“STEM happens more than just at the STEM school,” said Renee English, Canfield schools communications director.
Vincent and Mihai Aron, a Mooney junior, agreed that working in the robotics programs at their respective schools led them toward choosing futures in the engineering field.
Elijah said he was more interested in algorithms.
“I’m definitely going to go into the computer science field after this,” he said.
Lepore-Hagan congratulated students on their endeavors thus far and reminded them to “reach out to state representatives” if they are ever in need.
The Canfield Circuit Birds, Austintown FalcoTech and Mooney Robocards will compete in the FIRST (For the Inspiration & Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Buckeye Regional competition this weekend at the Wolstein Center on the campus of Cleveland State University.
The competition will be broadcast at http://www.oai.org/firstbuckeye/webcast.html from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.