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Robotics teams approved for RSU 10
Spruce Mountain High School robotics team members, Shelby Bryant and Kaylin Beck, demonstrate some of the tasks two robots were programmed to carry out at the RSU 10 board meeting on Oct. 15. One robot shot basketballs into the basket. The other propelled frisbees. See video on the Rumford Falls Times' Facebook page. (Times photos by Bruce Farrin)
DIXFIELD -- Following a discussion and a demonstration, RSU 10 board members on Oct. 15 voted unanimously to approve robotics teams in all RSU 10 middle and high schools.
Kim Dailey, who leads a Dirigo Middle School after-school robotics team in Dixfield, made the request to open up such learning activities to more schools in the district.
“I’d like to open one robotics team to all RSU 10 (secondary) students,” he said.
Dan Lemieux, leader of the Spruce Mountain High School robotics team in RSU 73, along with two of the 43 students on that team, presented a demonstration of robots created by the team. The district includes the towns of Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls.
Dailey and Lemieux outlined the benefits for students who take part in such an activity, which he said aligns well with the current emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Both said they feel certain that grants would be available to fund the robotics kits students would work with.
“It’s not just about building robotics. It’s teamwork, problem solving, presentations,” said Dailey, adding that his plan would be to offer a high school robotics program from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. His robotics team meets after school on Tuesdays.
He asked the board to provide transportation to competitions, including one in Augusta on Dec. 14. All other funding would come from grants and fundraisers held by the team.
Dailey said he will coach, but "We hope to have more people (adults) involved."
Prior to the vote, everyone went across the hall to DeFoe Gymnasium where Spruce Mountain High School robotics team members, Shelby Bryant and Kaylin Beck, demonstrated some of the tasks two robots were programmed to carry out. One robot shot basketballs into a hoop. Another propelled frisbees.
Lemieux said this program helps members to become well-developed students as well as turn students on to science and math. There are three local competitions each year in the state.
In other business, following a 45-minute closed session, the board admitted a high school student from another district.
King said the boy had been expelled from another district and now will attend Dirigo High School in Dixfield. The boy and an advocate met with the board prior to the vote. The majority of board members approved admitting him, while three members abstained from the vote.
Former RSU 10 board member John Phillips of Sumner was appointed to the Oxford Hills Technical School board. Buckfield, Hartford and Sumner high school students attend classes at the Paris school.
The board also appointed Baily Williams as student representative on the school board.
They accepted the resignation of Erick Black as a special education educational technician at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School.
Appointed were Larry Newton as a bus driver/custodian at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford; Amy Hughes as a bus driver/custodian at Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico; and Linda White as a food service worker at Dirigo Elementary School in Peru.