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Portage Twp. Education Foundation helps pave way for opportunities

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on March 11, 2020 with No Comments

John Hruskocy, a teacher at Portage High School, helps students assemble a robot.

The Portage Township Education Foundation provided the Portage robotics team, Porta-Botz, with a $1,500 grant. With this grant, the robotics team was able to host its own robotics competition, using the money to build an additional arena that was on the same level as a Robotics World Championship arena.

The Region Robotics Rumble VRC Blended, held at Portage High School, registered 17 schools and more than 50 teams. There were awards given out at the high school and middle school level, but the biggest was the tournament champion which allowed the winners to qualify for state/regional championship.

A Portage robotics team member is working on a robot.

While talking about the grant, John Kappes, head coach of the team, said, “It was the boost we needed at the time. We were so excited.”

The tournament winners were the Porta-Botz and Iron Pride from Wawasee High School in Syracuse.

The Porta-Botz have gone on to win several awards over the years. Some of these awards included Indiana’s Design Award and VEX World Qualifiers.

Portage students are working together to build a robot.

Jakob Kurr, a member from the first robotics team of Portage, felt that the program had given students real-world experience. “It’s a sense of growing by failure. There was nothing that made us want to go home. If you had something going on at home, you could stay here.”

The program, which started with only 10 members in 2015, has since grown and reached maximum capacity at 60 members. The program has also made its way into middle schools and some elementary schools in Portage.

“It’s the future,” Kappes said. “Six years ago, programs like this didn’t exist in schools.”

The Portage Township Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that remains dedicated to supporting teachers and students in their efforts to innovate and achieve.

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