Mason School District unveils new robotics center

MASON, MI. (WILX) - In this edition of Schools Rule, WILX News 10 is taking a look at a brand new, state of the art facility.

Mason High School's Robotics Center is brand new and state of the art.

The Robotics Center at Mason High School is brand new this year. It's been built to make sure not only Mason students, but even students from other schools can make use of the space.

"The district recognized the need for a facility to house us and our approximately 200 students," said Ben Shoemaker, the Lead Mentor for Team 3655.

The district has re-designed their multipurpose room so now students in kindergarten through 12th grade can work together on First Robotics.

"This is real-world application," explained Shoemaker. "So we're teaching kids how to run equipment, we're teaching kids how to build things and design but we also have a business team that goes out and works with corporations on fundraising for our program. I always tell people, 'The robot is a vehicle for us to teach kids how to problem solve no matter what discipline they're interested in doing or what their future plans are."

Those disciplines can include anything from engineering, coding to business and even communications.

"I don't like to build, I don't like to code, I'm not a driver and so, not what people would think is the STEM part of it," explained Ellie Agnew, a junior on the Business Team. "But I love business, I love being able to work and interact with other people."

"It's really about communicating with your team and really getting to know them and what their strengths are," said Ethan Charlot, a sixth grade student. "It just proves that if you put your mind to it you can do it."

Of course, there are the competitions and with their new space, Mason's First Robotics Team can work together-and even with other schools-to make sure their robots and projects are ready to go.

"No one on my team is actually in my class," explained Ronan O'Hara, a third grade student. "They might be in my grade, but none of them are in my class. They're all my friends and we all go to the same school and we all ride the same bus."

"It's a good experience because you get to talk to all your friends a lot more than you used to be able to and it's just fun working with them," said David Aldrich, a fourth grade student.

The High School First Robotics Team will take their robots to competition in Spring 2020.

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