Partnering with a maverick

One of NASA’s Robotics Alliance Goals is to Inspire American high school students to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Robotics Engineering.  Professionals at NASA Glenn Research Center, Plum Brook Station have been making good on that goal by being involved with EHOVE’s Robotics Team as mentors for the past several years, guiding the students’ journey of building a competitive robot each year for the FIRST Robotics competitions.

EHOVE is honored to announce its robotics team, known as the Mavericks #2252, has now also been named the House Team of NASA Plum Brook Station.  This formal arrangement will help NASA accomplish its mission to engage, inspire and support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational outreach activities, while also providing the team with engineering mentors, tools and parts they may need and the ability to cover the cost of registration at FIRST Robotics events. 

NASA is the largest sponsor of the FIRST Robotics competition.  “There is a budget and we’re obligated to make sure it gets used within the rules and per the mission,” said NASA Electronics & Data Systems Engineer Richard Evans. 

This is NASA Plum Brook’s first house team, and students on the team couldn’t be more excited.  “When I first heard about being named the house team of NASA Plum Brook, I was in shock,” said Engineering Tech student Megan Reilly (Bellevue HS).  “I think this will be a very successful year because of our sponsors.  NASA Plum Brook has been a huge help for EHOVE.” 

“It is very exciting to be part of NASA house team,” said Engineering Tech student Jenn Feathers (Vermilion HS).  “We will be able to build practice robots and take our team to competitions.” 

“What a great opportunity for EHOVE’S Mavericks Team.” said Engineering Tech student Matthew Ohlemacher (Norwalk HS).  “We will get more opportunities to compete, and we get more practice time, which will increase our chances of winning.  It’s greatly appreciated everything NASA Plum Brook and EHOVE has done for us.” 

 “We take pride in this opportunity of becoming a NASA House Team,” said Jim McIntyre, Engineering Tech/Industrial Tech Instructor.  “It’s great to reach out to kids about science and math.” 

Evans says NASA supports its employees who want to dedicate time to mentoring local students.  He has volunteered his time to the team since 2008, helping students through the process of brainstorming, planning, strategizing, building and testing, all while being creative and following the rules. 

Team members and mentors are gearing up for the January 5 kickoff of the competition season.  They will have six weeks to build a program and design a robot after the rules and requirements are unveiled by FIRST Robotics. Before that time, it’s all kept top secret by FIRST. 

“I’m very excited about this year,” said Evans.  “Whatever the engineering challenges, there’s no way to get a head start.  There’s an element of mystery and excitement.  You never know what you’re going to have to build the robot to do.”

EHOVE students and students from surrounding high schools are welcomed to join the EHOVE Robotics Team.  It is not required for team members to be an EHOVE student to join.  For more information, call (419) 499-4663.

PHOTO:  Members of EHOVE’s Robotics Team last year at a competiton.