Robotics teams will receive a donation for attending the event

KayLynn Roberts-McMurray
White Pine County school district board members, robotic team students, teachers and representatives of White Pine’s pumped storage project are pictured with a check for $10,000.

Several robot teams from the White Pine County School District received a $10,000 donation during the White Pine County School District board meeting last Tuesday.

Greg Copeland, Program Manager for Hydro at rPlus Energies, explained that the company’s Community Relations Specialist, Michael Couch, had attended a previous school board meeting and explained that the robotics teams needed financial support to get to the VEX robotics next month World Championships in Dallas, Texas.

“The White Pine School District has more teams qualifying for the championship than any other district in the state of Nevada, and we are proud to sponsor such a Rockstar program in the same county where we host our 1,000-megawatt White Pine – Pumped storage project will be opened. ‘ Copeland said.

A $5,000 donation was made by rPlus Energies and its parent company, named Gardner, matched their donation, bringing it to a total of $10,000.

Presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation, the VEX Robotics World Championship will take place May 8-12 in Dallas. This event brings together the best VEX IQ Challenge, VEX Robotics Competition and VEX U teams from around the world to celebrate their achievements and take part in the crowning of champions.

The 2020 VEX World Championship has been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 World Championships concluded in an entirely remote format, making the return of this year’s event a high-energy and competitive event.

Every year the students are presented with a new competition game in which they have to design, build and program a robot. The robots are built from kits, but students have a lot of creative freedom as there are no set instructions and many parts can be modified. The entire process focuses on the engineering design process and its documentation, with many awards centered on the teams’ engineering notebooks.

Students will demonstrate their game strategies, design and teamwork skills. Inspections, qualifiers and skills matches and then matches to see who will receive the coveted VEX awards have prompted the students here on site to prepare intensively for this year’s competition while also raising funds for participation.

The teams are close to their fundraising goal with approximately $3,000 left to raise.

Copeland wished the students the best of luck and also thanked them for their interest in robotics.

“Hi-tech and tribe-based types of education will bring future careers in the kind of project we’re bringing to White Pine,” he said.


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