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Newton’s Attic puts students FIRST in robotics partnership

LEXINGTON — For the third consecutive year, Newton’s Attic is proud to host Team 2856, Fayette County’s FIRST Competition Robotics Team, as the team prepares for the annual FIRST Robotics Competition.

Newton’s Attic donates the use of their facility and engineering expertise Monday through Friday after school and Saturdays for the six weeks of the build season leading up to the final event. This year the team will compete in the Miami Valley Regional of the FIRST Robotics Challenge inMarch 8-11 in Springfield, Ohio.

“Newton’s Attic is pleased to be able to assist students in their pursuit of a significant hands-on engineering experience that is provided by the FIRST Robotics competition. They have really worked hard, and we wish them the success in this week’s competition,” says Bill Cloyd, Founder and Executive Director of Newton’s Attic.

The Fayette County team is comprised of approximately 60 students, mostly from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School with a few from STEAM Academy.

The organizational focus of FIRST is to introduce students to the engineering field through national robotics competitions. The team brings unique engineering opportunities to students such as, working along with local companies. In addition to Newton’s Attic, the team has also received support from Schneider Electric.

“What we do is only possible with the support of local businesses and the professionals who mentor our kids through the design process,” says Fred Cox, Dunbar & MSTC physics teacher and faculty sponsor of the robotics team. “Their expertise, time, and yes, money, give rise to a unique experience of incredible value, both to the kids and those sectors of industry that will rely on their skill set in the coming years.”

Every year, FIRST issues a challenge that teams must spend the first 6 weeks of the second school semester designing, prototyping, and building a robot to compete in the annual FIRST Robotics Competition. This year’s challenge is called “SteamWorks” and the task is to design and build a robot that combines different mechanisms to move and place gears, shoot balls into different goals, and climb a rope.

Since its beginning in 2009, Team 2856 has successfully competed and won several recognitions, which include Rookie Inspirational Award (2009), Regional Finalist (2010), and the Spirit Award sponsored by Chrysler two years in a row (2013, 2014). Additional honors
include two Dean’s List finalists who went on to St. Louis for the national championship.