EL-G board treated to robotics demo by team

by Rodney Schroeter of The Review staff


MEMBERS OF THE Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah school district’s robotics team demonstrate the robot they entered in the state-level robotics competition in Appleton in February. The demonstration took place at the EL-G school board meeting. 
— Review photo by Rodney Schroeter MEMBERS OF THE Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah school district’s robotics team demonstrate the robot they entered in the state-level robotics competition in Appleton in February. The demonstration took place at the EL-G school board meeting. — Review photo by Rodney Schroeter ELKHART LAKE—The Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District Board was treated to a robotics demonstration at its meeting Monday night.

Technology Education instructor John Ostermann introduced students Hunter Schoenborn, Hunter Carlson, and Brandon Bonebrake, who make up half the EL-G robotics team, according to Ostermann.

The robot consisted of a square base on wheels, on which was fixed an extending accordion structure that could be raised or lowered. A mechanical claw at the structure top could rotate, open, and close.

The board saw how the machine, operating under remote control, could move in any direction on the floor, turn, grasp an object with the claw, raise the grasped object on its extending accordion, and place the object where needed.

The team competed at the state level at the VEX Robotics Competition in Appleton in February. The device had initially performed as well as the team had hoped, and they were doing well in the competition. But then the motors became overheated, degrading the robot’s performance.

Despite this, “They did quite well, actually,” said Ostermann. “Their robot is their robot. It’s their design, they did it with a little help and guidance along the way.” For each competition, he said, “We’ve tried to make our robot unique and different and better every time. This robot they actually researched, designed, purchased parts, put it together, tested and operated it, within about a month of after-school activity.”

Ostermann said the overheating issue was unforeseen, but a learning experience. The team has already addressed this problem by adding more motors.

“I would say this is by far the most impressive robot that we’ve had,” Ostermann said. “As far as the group of gentlemen working on this—the most impressive, as well. I was very proud, how they performed, despite the overheating issue.”

Referendum update

District Superintendent Dr. Ann Buechel Haack said 21 informational presentations have been given on the district’s referendum, with five more presentations scheduled.

On April 7, electors will be able to reply “yes” or “no” to the following referendum:

“Shall the School District of Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin for the 2015- 2016 school year through the 2018- 2019 school year be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specifi ed in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $725,000 a year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of operational and maintenance expenses?”

Remain- ing referendum informational meetings:

Thursday, March 19, 6:30 p.m., Glenbeulah Village Hall

Tuesday, March 24, 9 a.m., EL-G High School auditorium; 5:45 p.m., EL-G Elementary/Middle School Library; 7:30 p.m., EL-G High School auditorium

Other district news

High School Principal Jim Brown introduced Valedictorian Hunter Schoenborn to the board. “Currently, he’s at a 3.945 GPA,” Brown said. “He’s in countless activities here at school, from band to football and track. He’s also a youth apprentice. He’s taken our most challenging courses. And he’s an outstanding young guy.”

Schoenborn said he was involved with most of the clubs, including robotics. He plans to pursue an education in biomedical engineering.

Buechel Haack asked Schoenborn if anything in particular at the EL-G school system had benefitted him. “The dedicated teachers,” Schoenborn replied. “They’re always there for questions, help, and studying. The teachers, you can tell, are dedicated.”

There will be an open house for the school district on Tuesday, March 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. Instructors will be on hand to talk with parents and other visitors. “You don’t need to have a student in the district to attend,” Buechel Haack said. “Come see what’s happening in our district. And it will also smell very nice because the LTC Artisan Breads class, one of our community partnerships, will be going on during that time. We hope people in the community will come visit us.”

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The board received a letter of commendation from Joan Wade, Wisconsin CESA 6 Agency Administrator, for being the first board to undergo CESA 6-based training.

Elemen tary Principal Deb Hammann reporting on events of the past month, which included several visiting speakers; training on library resources for the staff; a basketball game between 7th and 8th graders and staff (the staff won both games); activities related to Read Across America and Dr. Seuss’ birthday; a trip by 1st graders to Discovery World in Milwaukee.

“Monday, the 9th, we finally had Challenge Day, which we’ve been preparing for, for a long time,” said Principal Jim Brown, reporting on the month’s High School activities. “It was a huge success.” One hundred students and 21 adults participated.

“It was a fantastic day,” Brown said. “We danced, we laughed, we joked, we cried, we played games.” One student wrote him after the event that it was the best event of her high school career, that she entered the event expecting not to share anything about herself, but ended up sharing things with her small group (or “family”) that she had not shared with many other people.

Many band and choir members, Brown said, performed at the regional competition at Kohler. Many of them are going on to state competition.

Summer Henschel was one of three students who recited poems at the board’s February meeting, in conjunction with the school’s Poetry Out Loud program. Instructor Nikolai Yasko informed The Review that Henschel competed at the state-level Poetry Out Loud competition in Madison. Yasko reported that, while Henschel performed very well, she did not advance to the national level.

The board unanimously approved:

* An out-of-state field trip to Washington, D.C.

* One co-curricular and support staff resignations, several new hires, and a contract addition for speech therapist, Amy Schmidt.


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