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Alcovy teacher wins $5,000 Dart Foundation grant for robotics equipment
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COVINGTON, Ga. - Alcovy High School juniors and seniors will soon have new science technology engineering and math equipment to create robots from scratch for their capstone projects. Mr. Zachary Pitts, an engineering, manufacturing and robotics instructor at the school, recently won a $5,000 grant from the Dart Foundation to purchase the new equipment.

“This grant will be used from now until probably 15 years from now as the VEX robotics parts we are purchasing are reusable,” Pitts said. “The parts will enable students to create a robot as part of a capstone project that incorporates programming, building of the actual robot, physics, engineering, math, science and technology all into one package to solve a problem.”

He noted that both students in the Technology Student Association and his regular classroom would have access to the new equipment.

“I do have an elite group of VEX robotics team that will be doing full-blown competition robots as well,” he said.

“The Dart Foundation was impressed with Mr. Pitts’ project goals, because the students will be exposed to robotics engineering, manufacturing, maintenance and programming while gaining other valuable skills through working in groups, giving presentations, and other activities,” Emily Matthews, Dart Foundation manager, said. “This project aligns well with the Dart Foundation’s mission, which focusses on STEM education and workforce development.”

“We are very appreciative of the Dart Foundation and all the support they provide to Newton County Schools,” Dr. Tim Schmitt, Newton County School System director of career, technical, and agricultural education, said. “Workforce Development, especially in the STEM fields, is critical for our region and grants like this help the school system play our part in that work.”