For more than 10 years, Ranken has been supporting robotics teams in local schools by providing resources such as lab time, machining and welding parts, donation of materials and student mentors. One such team is a FIRST robotics team from University City High School. Barb Bragg, Ranken’s STEM pathway development coordinator, used some of her grant money to help pay for some of the required materials for the team’s robot and much of the work was performed by students in the welding and machining microenterprises. The team competed this past weekend at The St. Louis Regional competition held at the Chaifetz Arena on the campus of Saint Louis University.
"We were really impressed by this team," said Vince Hotlmann, faculty project manager. "The adult mentors hardly intervened. The students came on campus, communicated their needs and stayed in the afternoon and evening to watch much of the work being performed. They asked a lot of questions and made decisions and changes as needed. It was a tremendous learning experience for the students."
Ranken students who supported the team included Cameron Monarch, Andrew Geldermann, Nicolas Goris and Benjamin Doty. Faculty and staff supporters included Jeffery Scott, Gary Young, Ben Wohldmann, Corey Blair, Paul Buneta, Brandon McLain, Tyler Blank, Vince Holtmann, Barbara Bragg and Don Pohl.
Ranken, along with Emerson, was also a founding sponsor of the FIRST Robotics Team 931 from Gateway STEM High School in 2001 and continues to support the team with the purchase of materials as well as the welding and machining of parts. Several faculty members and one machining student graciously donated their time, even coming in on a holiday to help complete the project. Supporters included Gary Young, Ben Wohldmann, Paul Buneta, Nicolas Goris (student), Barbara Bragg and Vince Holtmann.
"The parts Ranken made for us were right on and crucial for us to finish the robot on time," said Frank Dressel, coach for Team 931. "The keyway you broached in the coupling is vital to our Frisbee shooter working reliably and the rollers are key to our pole climbing mechanism. The parts Gary and Nick made for us on their day off was the only way we could have got the hanging mechanism working by the deadline."
Team 931 also competed at the St. Louis Regional competition this past weekend and proudly displayed Ranken’s logo on their robot as well as in the pit area. Thank you to all of our faculty, staff and students who put so much time and effort into maintaining our partnership with these local schools and potential future Ranken students.