Shoemaker said he had been using his classroom for robotics practice for nine years.
“I had my standard classroom, which was about 30 by 30. I taught physics, earth science and robotics out of that one room. Our practice schedule would be, get all the stuff out, move all the tables in my room around, work for a couple hours, then put it all back,” Shoemaker said.
The center used sinking fund dollars to pay for the transformation. Construction began in December and the center will be open to ages K-12. It will be used during the day for multiple classes and after-school teams.
The center has enough space for the team to create multiple robots at a time. The team will train more people to drive robots and create strategies. Each age group has a designated area.Ellie Agnew, a sophomore on the team, said her favorite about robotics is,“you get to known so many different kinds of people because robotics isn’t just for the nerdy kids in school. We have athletes. A varsity football captain is our team captain. I’m from theater, and people from all different walks of life. I wouldn’t normally get to interact with them, but I get to meet them here,” she said.
The team has been hosting the FIRST Regional Robotics Competition for the past three years. Ron Drzewicki, district superintendent, said the new facility will be very beneficial to the team.
“We are going to have the nicest and largest robotics center in the state. To be able to provide students resources to learn, engage and be creative with robotics is great,” Drzewicki said.
The team will compete in the regional competition at Mason High School beginning the first weekend of April. The team already won the chairman’s award qualifying it for the state championship at Saginaw Valley State University.