Robotics team gives demo for EL-G School Board

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE — The School Board was treated to a demonstration by the robotics team at its Monday night meeting.

Technology Education instructor John Ostermann introduced the team of Hunter Carlson, Bryce Sitko and Jonathon Roll. The three explained how they designed their robot to meet the goal of the robotics competitions they’d participated in at the sectional and state levels.

The goal was to pick up a tennis ball and pass it through a triangle. The team demonstrated the conveyor belt mechanism that picked the ball up and positioned it. A mechanical “leg” then kicked the ball up and through the triangle. It required numerous trials to calculate the proper force needed to propel the ball.

The robot is directed by a remote control. The team wrote program code that translated the control’s actions into the robot’s actions.

“Their robot is by far the most unique design that I’ve seen in any of the tournaments that we’ve been at,” added Ostermann. “There was not another robot that did anything similar to this.”

He said other teams took great interest in the simple approach the team took by kicking the ball. Other teams, he said, “had these massive machines” that were far more elaborate.

The team related several structural problems they had (for instance, the foot would easily bend after kicking the ball repeatedly). Ostermann acknowledged those structural problems, but said the design itself of the robot “was pretty bullet-proof. And other schools recognized that.”

“That was really cool,” Ostermann said. “They didn’t go with somebody else’s plan and create some regurgitated thing. This is all them. They did an excellent job, and I look forward to next year.”

Other school business

Student Council activity highlights, given by Aryka Klemme, included plans for volunteer trash cleanup and an appreciation breakfast for high school staff.

Two board members were sworn in: Keith Ruh, who was re-elected; and Andrew Martin, newly elected. Matthew Waage was thanked for serving on the board for six years.

Activities for grades JK through eight for the past month, reported by Elementary Principal Deb Hammann, included the start of Middle School track; celebration of National Library Week; several retired teachers coming in for Readers Theater; participation in Middle School solo ensemble; a Middle School dance; fifth graders going to the Junior Achievement Program in Milwaukee; performances by the Moxie Strings three-piece band; activities for Autism Awareness Month; a lumberjack celebration for the fourth graders (in the snow storm); and availability of information on summer school programs.

High school activities as reported by Principal Jim Brown included two gold awards and other high-level awards earned at the state forensics competition; competition by academic teams at Green Bay West; participation at the state FCCLA competition; coming ACT Aspire testing (which gives students a preliminary idea of how they are likely to do on actual ACT tests); performances by the Moxie Strings three-piece band; an AFS-sponsored Celebrate Our Heritage pot-luck dinner; a coming FFA competition; solo ensemble; and Scholarship Awards night.

The board unanimously approved:

• Acceptance of and an expression of gratitude for several donations.

• Continuing to use the Plymouth Review as the official school newspaper.

• Continuing to use the National Exchange Bank as the school’s depository.

• Appointment of Keith Ruh as delegate for the CESA convention.

• Appointment of Scott Heinig and Mike Meeusen to represent the board at the June 5 High School graduation ceremony.

• A revision to the 2016-17 school calendar (a change in an in-service date).

• An out-of-state, out-of-country field trip for one student, requested by band instructor Jodi Voss.

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