Students at St. James Catholic Regional School will have the opportunity to compete in Vex Robotics as the program kicks off its first year.
“It’s a great thing kids can get involved with,” Vex adviser Paul Kirchner said, adding the St. James program will serve as a stepping stone for students.
Sister Marie Hannah Seiler, the school’s principal, said it was decided to start a program after seeing how well the school’s graduates have done in Vex competitions. Andrew Schreacke, a Central Hardin High School senior and St. James graduate, placed third at the Vex World Championships in April.
Schreacke and other students are helping with the St. James program. Kirchner said Schreacke shared his engineering notebook with the students, which catalogs all the work done on the robot.
“Ours aren’t that detailed,” Kirchner said.
Kirchner said he was surprised to find out how big Vex Robotics was at the high schools and how well the Hardin County high schools have done.
On Tuesday, the Dow Corning Foundation donated $1,500 to the Vex Robotics program. Kirchner said the money will go toward additional equipment, another robot, laptops and game materials so students can practice.
Kirchner said while the Vex IQ program is costly, it’s not as expensive as the high school program. Students from third to eighth grade can join the robotics program.
Dow Corning set up the donor-advised fund with the Central Kentucky Community Foundation in 2013 and supports science, technology, engineering and mathematics education programs.
Foundation president Davette Swiney presented the check to St. James teachers and students.
“Dow Corning has supported a lot of technology efforts in the community,” she said.
The Dow Corning Foundation awards grants on a rolling basis rather than once a year.