An alliance of high school robotics teams including O'Fallon Township's High School's MeTool Brigade, the Shrapnel Sergeants of Hazelwood West High School and the Camdenton 4H LASER Team, in Camdenton, Mo., captured the St. Louis FIRST Robotics Regional Championship competition held last weekend at the Chaifetz Arena at St. Louis University. The winning alliance moves on to compete in the championships in St. Louis next month.
More than 2,000 high school students representing more than 40 high schools from Missouri and four surrounding states participated in the regional competition for an opportunity to win recognition for design excellence, sportsmanship, teamwork and a chance to advance to the championships. Now in its 22nd season, the FIRST Robotics Competition has more than 50,000 students in 16 countries around the world competing in 58 regional competitions.
The international championships will be held in St. Louis and is expected to draw more than 30,000 visitors to the area April 24-27 at the Edward Jones Dome at America's Center. In addition to being part of the winning alliance, the MeTool Brigade of O'Fallon earned the chairman's award.
The teams of high school students worked for six weeks with professional mentors to design and build a robot that solves a problem using a kit of parts and a standard set of rules. Once these young inventors created the robots, their teams participated in regional competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration and the determination of students. More than 2,000 teams participate in the FIRST Robotics competitions across the United States.
Belleville School District 118 kicked off its sixth annual Drive Away Hunger campaign for local food pantries Monday. Superintendent Matt Klosterman said the district partners with businesses, neighboring school districts and other organizations in the community to collect non-perishable food and personal hygiene items for four food pantries in the area.
Items will be collected now through April 12. "We try to get as much stuff as we can for the pantries," Klosterman said. "The food pantries are all hurting, and we are just trying to do our part."
He estimated between 18,000 and 22,000 items are collected during the campaign every year. Over the last five years, the district and its partners donated more than 100,000 items to the pantries, Klosterman said. "It's a small thing we can do to give back, and it's a great lesson for our kids to learn and be part of giving back to our community." Anyone who would like to donate or get more information can call Klosterman at 618-233-2830. District 118 staff members and students plan to deliver the donated items to the food pantries on April 15.
Youth from the St. Clair County Youth Board and other community members will hold a flash mob at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Public Square in downtown Belleville to raise awareness about the harmful effects of smoking and the number of smoking-related deaths.
Educational materials will be available to help community members quit smoking or remain smoke-free. The event is part of Kick Butts Day 2013 -- a national day of activism that empowers youth to speak up and take action against 'big tobacco' at hundreds of events across the country.
The Lewis and Clark Council of the Boy Scouts of America selected Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to receive the 2013 Community Impact Award. The award will be presented at the Council's annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Four Point's Sheraton in Fairview Heights.
The council annually selects a metro-east organization that distinguished itself as an outstanding corporate citizen. It is earned not only through the support of scouting, but by demonstrating the values of the Scout Oath and Law in business practices and exemplifying the notion of service above self.
SIUE will christen its $15.3 million addition to the Art and Design Building at 3:30 p.m. Thursday during a public ribbon cutting. The project adds 29,000-square-feet of space including a new art gallery, additional office space, graduate student studio space and classrooms. The addition is located to the west of the existing Art and Design Building. An enclosed bridge joins the building and the addition.
The Women Engineers at SIUE is holding an open house from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the School of Engineering Building. The open house will allow prospective female students to discover the opportunities available within the school. Students will attend sessions presented by the Offices of Admissions and Student Financial Aid, the Career Development Center and two engineering majors of their choice.
Separate panels of professional female engineers and current SIUE female students will be available for questions. Throughout the day, students will be able to interact with engineering professionals, students and university faculty. In addition, the Society of Women Engineers will hold a lunch with a keynote speaker.
A free kickoff event for the Shielded Waters program will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Granite City Township Hall, located at 2060 Delmar Ave. Shielded Waters is a youth fishing program in Granite City that pairs local police officers with at-risk youth.
The event will feature magic shows, police K-9 and fishing demonstrations and is designed to inform children and their families about the upcoming activities for 2013. Papa John's will provide pizza, and drinks will be courtesy of Capri-Sun.
Carlyle teacher Rita Winkeler was selected as the 2013 Public Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers Illinois Southern District. Winkeler has been a third-grade teacher for 18 years. She is the mother of three sons, and her disabled son Mark lives at Murray Center in Centralia.
She is president of the Murray Parents' Association and has worked tirelessly leading 220 parents and guardians in their fight to keep Murray Center open.
She is also president of the parent and guardians' group for Community Link in Breese, where her disabled brother lives in a community integrated living arrangement. Winkeler is also on the Illinois League of Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled Board of Directors.
SIUE was named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the fourth straight year. The Corporation for National and Community Service included SIUE among 690 institutions to receive the highest honor for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
The total number of SIUE students who engaged in community service of any kind was 5,637 during the 2011-12 academic year. Those students performed 107,078 hours of community service.
Among the volunteer projects were the Alliance of Students Against Poverty; Cougar Village "Get Green" volunteer project with The Gardens; Alternative Spring Break trip to New Orleans; and monthly projects such as the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, Willoughby Farm and Lutheran Senior Services.
The annual Belleville Diocesan Chess Tournament was held March 9 at Blessed Sacrament School in Belleville. Teams from Queen of Peace School, St. Teresa School, Immaculate Conception School and Blessed Sacrament competed in the four-round tournament.
Six Queen of Peace students earned perfect scores: Elliott Hoffmann, Jett Reinhardt, Jake Pollock, Thomas Fogarty, Alex Hampton and Lauren Lorenz. The Queen of Peace chess team placed first in the competition and were named diocesan champs.
The Immaculate Conception School math team won first place in the St. Louis University High School Math Contest March 9 against 19 other St. Louis-area schools in the 30-question contest. Individually, Jay Hollman earned first place overall, Madelon Belaska was second place overall, and Jake Heet was seventh place overall out about 90 students. The team is coached by math teacher Karen Weiler.
The West Junior High Math Team had a successful season. The team placed first overall at the Belleville East feeder event in January and both the seventh and eighth grade students placed second at the Belleville West competition in October.
At the Belleville East feeder event, the following seventh-graders placed in the top 10: Eli Schweitzer, Clarice Gonzales and Arthur Rodriguez. Seventh-grader Katryna Wilkes placed first.
In addition, the four-person team of Sarah Largent, Eli Schweitzer, Olivia Haggin and Lauren Matzenbacher placed second. At the Belleville West competition, the two-person team of Sarah Largent and Eli Schweitzer placed first.
Althoff Catholic High School's Crusader Innovation Show Choir placed first in the Novice Division at Quincy's Showcase of Excellence March 9, and Althoff senior Erin McCarkel also placed third in the solo contest.
Teacher Elaine Laws said Erin placed in the vocal solo contest at Quincy for three consecutive years. She placed fifth as a sophomore and fourth last year as a junior.
Rotary International District 6510 is offering two new scholarships for Southern Illinois students. The awards will be given to two high school students from the 28 southern-most Illinois counties.
One $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student who intends to continue his or her education at a four-year college or university in Southern Illinois, and another $2,500 scholarship will be awarded to a student who intends to attend a junior college or trade school in Southern Illinois.
Do you have an item for Education Matters or an education-related story tip? We want to know about it. Send your ideas to Jamie Forsythe at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 618-239-2562.