Students from St. Mary Catholic School in Big Rapids demonstrate robot at state Capitol

St. Mary's at the Capitol

Students from St. Mary Catholic School in Big Rapids traveled to Lansing on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, to demonstrate to state leaders a robot they’ve built.

The students participated in the 16th annual AT&T/MACUL/MVU Student Technology Showcase at the state Capitol. The event featured technology projects from more than thirty schools and also included an opportunity for students, parents, and other attendees to discuss technology and innovation in schools with state education leaders.

St. Mary Catholic School students participate in robotics each week as part of their STREAM education involving science, technology, religion, engineering, the arts, and math. Students in 1st through 3rd grades participate in LEGO League Jr. robotics, students in 4th through 6th grades participate in LEGO League robotics, and 7th and 8th graders participate in the FIRST Tech Challenge.

For the Student Technology Showcase, St. Mary 7th and 8th graders presented their FIRST Tech Challenge project, a robot designed to throw small plastic balls into a basket. They also discussed how they run their robotics team as a business, building their robot by raising funds and securing sponsorships from Ferris State University, Big Rapids Products, Pizzeria Vivo, M & M Collision, State Street Hardware, Professional, Mecosta County Community Foundation, SolidWorks, and Great Lakes Energy.

“We are proud to have the chance to demonstrate students’ FIRST Tech Challenge robot to lawmakers and even prouder of the work our kids have done this school year,” said Principal JB Watters.

In addition to building their robots, St. Mary Catholic School students have also used their 3D printer to build prosthetic hands for the e-NABLE project, an international effort that helps provide prosthetics to people in need.

St. Mary School flows from the mission of the St. Mary-St. Paul Catholic parish in Big Rapids and serves more than 150 students enrolled in preschool through 8th grade. Learn more here.

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