Riveting Robots: Firestone High School Students Score Award

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Akron, Ohio-- It’s not often you walk into a classroom and find a robot, but that’s the case at Firestone High School in Akron. Students there started building it last August.

"What I like about it, is that a lot of the stuff we do in here, it's very interesting,” said Tyler Stallsmith. He’s one of about a dozen in “Project Lead the Way.” It’s an after-school program for engineering, run by teacher, Dan Spak.

The club does more than just meet after school; they also compete. Last weekend, they won the Design Award at the robotics state championship in Marion.

The robot is judged on more than just its looks. It has to do well in a game called “Toss Up." The objective is to score the most points with these balls.

"Now we get to go to Anaheim California, which is really awesome,” said Stallsmith. “I have never been to California before and to get to go for something as prestigious as the world championship for VEX robotics, it's really great. It's going to be an experience we never forget."

Erica Kraus operates the robot at competitions. She said she loves being a member of the team.

"Other people on my team, I knew two of them before this. They were in my classes, but I didn't talk to them as much at first and now we talk all the time,” she said.

Kerry Holmes, who is another student in the club agreed. He said there’s something for everyone.

“It's not like if you go to engineering club, you just have to build robots and only do that. You can do almost anything you want to do there. Spak will help you do it. He'll give you the tools you need and you can make club anything you want it to be,” he said.

The world champion for VEX robotics will be held in April.


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