The STEM School’s robotics team won the Engineering Inspiration Award at the Rocket City Regional FIRST Robotics Competition in Huntsville, Al. last weekend. The award celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team’s school or organization and community. Teams are eligible for the award at each regional or district First Robotics Competition.
“To say we were stunned to win this award is an understatement,” said Kenneth Kranz, Fab Lab teacher and robotics team coach at Chattanooga STEM School. “I love that this award is about what our team does all year long to showcase robotics and inspire kids in our community to pursue STEM careers. I’m so proud that they could be recognized for their hard work."
In announcing the award, the judges cited the STEM School’s Robotics 101 and Robot Reveal Night activities to promote engineering in the community. The award is reserved for teams that make an impact on the students at their school and in the community outside of the competition season. The award recognized the STEM School for the inventiveness of the team’s efforts to recruit students to the field of engineering, the community outreach promoting engineering, and the commitment to science and technology education among the team, school, and community.
"There are several reasons why students compete in robotics,” stated Dr. Tony Donen, principal of STEM School Chattanooga. “For our students at the STEM School, it is not only about what they can learn personally, but how they can create opportunities for others as well. I cannot think of an award I would rather have our students win.”
The STEM School Chattanooga team received a plaque and trophy for their selection as the Engineering Inspiration Award winner. Each team member also received a medal. As part of the award, the team receives an invitation to the FIRST World Championship in Houston, Texas on April 21. NASA will fund the $5,000 registration fee for the event.
STEM School Chattanooga, located in a technologically advanced facility on the campus of Chattanooga State Community College, is currently a grade 9-12 school. The school’s educational approach uses projects and problem-solving experiences to explore solutions to real-world challenges.