The Clinton Prairie Robotic Gophers team received a $500 check from NTK Precision Axle Monday afternoon in preparation for the VEX Robotics World Championships to held in Louisville, Kentucky later this month.
The fifth grade team, coached by Jonathan Shannon placed first at state in the team work challenge which qualifies them for the world championships April 29 through May 1. During the event, Clinton Prairie will be paired with teams from across the United States, Puerto Rico, China, Canada, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Estonia, South Korea, India and the United Kingdom.
“We were just very pleased with the support we’ve received from the community so far,” said Shannon. “We hope we can keep building that and continue to grow the program.”
Shannon was asked what this experience has meant to those involved in the program.
“This has made the kids realize that the world is a lot bigger than just Clinton County, Frankfort and even Indiana,” he said. “We will get to work with folks for all across the country, all across the world and have that experience. It means quite a bit, recognizing other cultures and having that experience.”
Fifth grade team members are Morgen Carr, Blake Johnston, Shelby Luper, Connor McKibben, Addison Miller, Colton Oswalt, Savannah Reagan, Abbey Swan, R.J. Vantuinen and Kyndall Ward.
Prairie finished first out of 150 elementary teams at the state championship. Currently, there are 903 elementary teams across Indiana.
Shannon added the group will be receiving additional financial support from various other groups and entities. He said they will be announced at a later date.
NTK Human Resource Manager Debby Spidel said the reason for the donation was twofold.
“We wanted the students to see what we do here and how important it is for what their learning at their level now and how it will apply to them in the future,” she said. “This (donation) helps us become a better community partner. It also helps when our employees see that we do reach out and help the community and they get a sense of pride in that as well.”
The sixth grade team is coached by Jessica Brovant. They were the Team Work Challenge Champions in Logansport. Team members are Jadrian Beard, Konner Boyles, Evey Brooks, Amelia Cole, Alexis Ramsey and Kayla Stewart.