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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mona Shores Wavelength FIRST Robotics Team Gives Hands On Technology Experience

Looking back a few years, to watch how school "clubs" have changed, I am often reminded just how old I am.  We had offerings of macrame, model building, maybe a karate class...I'll be honest, I wasn't much of a joiner, but...I'd try it long enough to get my mom disgusted when I would quit 3 weeks into it.
Today, the school "clubs" are more about pure awesomeness and serious experience.  From business competitions to robotics, it's hands on and forward motion!

Wavelength FIRST Robotics Team Facebook Page
Our story today is about the Mona Shores Wavelength FIRST Robotics Team.  This is a fairly small team according to Susan Davis who sent me the idea for this article.  Consisting of 20 students and mentors, the team competes against other schools all over the state.  Andrew Basse is the coach of the team from Mona Shores.  To quote Susan "The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership" That's a far cry from snap together models and basket weaving.

Mona Shores Schools
In talking with Susan, she explains a little more. "During our FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Michigan District qualifying event March 23-25 at Grand Valley State University, we successfully made it to the semifinals. At this event, we also were honored with The Chairman’s Award. The Chairman’s Award is the most prestigious award at FIRST, it honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. As a recipient of this award, we are automatically qualified for the FRC at the state level. This event takes place April 12-15 at the Ryder Center at Saginaw Valley Community College." Susan has much to be proud of.

I made the "long" trip from Roosevelt Park over to Mona Shores High School to meet the team and the mentors that make this happen for their students! Take a listen to our chat below.

It's like this, hindsight is always 20/20. Back in school, the offerings might not have been as staggering as they are today, but there were there...the might just not have grabbed enough interest for me. Today, kids are put into real world situations and given challenges that any adult team would have to work to complete. Organizations like Wavelength FIRST are seeing to it that the future for our kids is bright, they are ready for the workforce, and they have probably formed a lifelong bond with each other, their mentors and assured themselves that they will never run out of work. I'd like you to stop and think for a moment too, for every report you hear about some kid who's lost his way...there are 10 more kids right behind them who are getting it right. We feel it's immensly important to let you know that there are kids out there who soar....and that those kids are right here in Muskegon.

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