Martin's grant will help Mishawaka elementary school host robotics competition

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - The gears are turning at Mishawaka’s Hums Elementary School as the robotics team prepares for a high tech competition.

The team just won a $1,000 One School at a Time grant from Martin’s Super Markets.

“I think getting to build the robot is probably my favorite part of robotics,” said Megan Owens, a Hums fourth-grader. “All of these different balls, we are supposed to pick them up and put them on the cubes and move the cubes to the right place to earn points.”

“Sometimes we decorate it with different colors, which is kind of fun,” fourth-grader Isabella Bertles said. “I just think it’s really fun working together with my team. I like competitions, they're really fun.”

“I’m really proud,” Hums teacher and robotics coach Ryan Mitchell said. “It’s really fun being their coach and seeing how much they grow throughout the season.”

Mitchell says competitions allow his students to work closely with each other but also with kids from other schools.

“[They] kind of figure out a strategy together,” Mitchell said. “So, we've practiced different strategies that we might have so we'll get to see what other teams do and really work together to get as many points as we can.”

The One School at a Time grant money will help them host competitions.

“We'll use the money to basically run the event,” Mitchell said. “We'll be renting tables, we'll be renting some other equipment.”

The idea is to build more opportunities for local schools, kids and families to participate.

“That was really the goal that we could have a tournament close so that people didn't have to travel really far and families can come and see what's going on without having to get on the road for an hour. It will be really cool to have one close to home,” Mitchell said.

Fourth-grader Landon Whitmer thinks it would be really cool to win.

“Our first competition last year we got second place, which was close, but we didn't make it,” he said.

The Hums robotics team is working with Beiger Elementary’s robotics team to host a competition Saturday at Beiger.

To nominate your school for the Martin's Super Markets grant, visit the One School at a Time application page.