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Mariner High Technology Team mentors other schools’ students

By Staff | Sep 26, 2011

Seniors and co-captains of the Mariner Technology Team at Mariner High School shared knowledge they gathered from their first year of competition to other students and instructors Monday afternoon to help prepare them for the First Tech Challenge.

Students and instructors from South Fort Myers High School, Dunbar High School and Evangelical Christian School stopped by for the student training on building, game strategy and computer programming of robots.

“I am most excited about helping other people so they are not lost,” Nicole Ballman, who leads the Mariner Technology Team, said about why they decided to hold the meeting for other students.

Mariner High teacher Adam Nowicki, STEM instructor, TSA advisor and VEX, FTC and FRC robotics coach, said his students wanted to hold the meeting Monday to share what they all learned last year about designing, building, programming and entering their robot into a competition.

“They wanted to reach out because it’s too cool not to share,” he said. “They are not just building robots, they are building the future.”

Some of the topics the seniors explained and shared with the students included competition rules and regulations; organization of a team; what should be in their tool box; robotics programming and recording of what has been done through slideshows and live demonstrations. Students also had the opportunity to ask questions when they arose through the presentation.

Ballman said when they began their team last year they found all of their information online instead of through a mentor. She said she hoped to help ease the other students into it through mentoring, so they do not feel the shock of how overwhelming it can be.

Andy Scarbrough said the meeting also helped them open relations with other schools.

“Mentoring other teams will be an enriching experience,” he said.

Last year Mariner High School was the only team in the area to compete.

Ballman said she would definitely like to hold other meetings and sessions throughout the year with other schools in the district, so they can build together, exchange ideas and have practice matches for the competitions.

“I could not be more proud of them,” Nowicki said about his students mentoring other students.

He said the momentum of their experience last year helped build his students’ passion and fire of designing, building, programming and entering their robot into competition against other students.

Although it is hard work, Nowicki said his students do not mind because it is something they love.

The First Tech Challenge state qualifying tournament, Great Robot Uprising, will be hosted by Mariner High School on Jan. 14, 2012.

Nowicki said it is all about giving opportunities to students by providing them with an opportunity to earn scholarship money and network with others as much as possible.