The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Pat Doody 

What is the future of THS Robotics?

Tehachapi School Board Update


Robotics Team President Rocky Ramirez voiced concerns about the future of THS Robotics to the School Board along with members Blake Olson, Adam Hansen, Justin McKim and Chloe Shadduck.

Five members of the Tehachapi High School Robotics team appeared at the May 23 School Board meeting to express their concerns about the possible elimination of the engineering courses that have enabled the Robotic Team to be such a smashing success. According to Principal Scott Heitman, he is considering the elimination of engineering classes and replacing them with digital photo and graphic design. "We have 120 students interested in the art classes," said Heitman, "and only 35 interested in 'Introduction to Engineering' and 11 interested in 'Principles of Engineering."

Robotics mentor Danielle Evansic told the Board that she was moving to a position with the district that would allow her to encourage the development of the sciences at the lower grades. This also effects the high school program by leaving the program without a teacher. Last year Mrs. Evansic secured a $50,000 grant which she used to supply 3D printers and programmable Dot and Dash Robots for all three elementary schools.

Jeff Thoman, Test Manager of Boeing Corp. one of the sponsors of the Robotics Team who just happened to be visiting, appealed to the Board saying "our industry is aging...we don't have enough supply line." He reminded everyone that the Tehachapi Robotics Team not only competes with the best of California but with the best teams in the country and internationally.

School Board members were shocked given the success of the robotics program. "We need a game plan to keep this program going," said Trustee Mary Graham,"if we don't respond, we're shirking our duty." She suggested that the Board look into other funding possibilities like grants or gifts "sooner rather than later." "I won't let this go," she added. The other Board members were all in agreement.


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