For the first time in its history, the Redwood Area School District is adding a robotics team.
The competitive program allows students to come together as a team to build a robot and then to take that robot to a Minnesota State High School league supported contest where they compete against other schools.
The idea of having a robotics team was presented to the Redwood Area Board of Education at its November meeting by Dennis Stoterau and Kelly Lutgen, who proposed the idea of using community education funds to create an enrichment program for the older students in the community.
The program, said Lutgen, is directed at those students who have interest in science, math and technology.
The team is given a task to create a robot that does a specific task or set of tasks and then has a six-week period of time to build the robot.
The robotics team opportunity is being offered to students in Grades 9-12. Funds from the school district and the community education funds are being used to help with the costs of the program, and Lutgen said there are other funds available for those first-year teams as they try and get the program started.
The program is being coached by RASD teachers Todd Steve and Mark Buyck, but Lutgen said there are certainly opportunities for the community to get involved, as well.
“I see this program attracting kids who are not interested in other activities the school offers,” said Kevin Passe, school board member, who added he also sees the community’s engineers and inventive types also seeing this as an opportunity to get involved in an activity.
Dennis Stoterau, community education director said if the program be-comes a success it may be added to the list of school activities for the future.
Registration for students has already started. The deadline to sign up is Jan. 14. Registration can be done in the district office. The cost to take part in the program is $40.
Minnesota is one of the top states for robotics competition. A regional contest would be held this coming March.
For more information about the robotics program and how you might be able to get involved, call (507) 644-3531.