MCC Educational Foundation supports robotics team

February 29, 2024

Team members Cameron Carsten, left, and Cynthia De Vries, center, are assisted by mentor Jeremiah Johnson.

MCC Educational Foundation supports robotics team

Spartan News is a presentation of Mason County Central School District in partnership with Mason County Press.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

SCOTTVILLE — As the Mason County Central Educational Foundation holds its annual Community Auction on Saturday, March 1, one of the foundation’s benefactors, the MCC High School robotics team will be competing in its first tournament of the season.

This year’s MCC team comes with a change of name, the Agri-Bots. Head Coach Rachel Brock said the team used to be known as Spartan-Tronics, but the name was changed due to other schools using the same name. “We also believe the new names reflects the farming heritage of the Mason County Central community.”

Robotics is considered a club activity and does not receive funding through the schools general budget. Instead, it is funded by the MCC Educational Foundation, community donations and a grant from FIRST Robotics Competition, a non-profit organization that holds robotics competitions around the world.

“We are very thankful for the local support from the Educational Foundation, businesses and individuals,” Brock said.

The MCC team is small, consisting of four to five members who participate in the competition. The team is also supported by students who are enrolled in a robotics class at MCC High School. Several community volunteers also assist with building the robot and helping during competition.

Junior Cynthia De Vries is one of the main programmers of the robot. She is part of the team because she plans on pursuing a career in robotics.

“Being on the robotics team helps me prepare for college,” De Vries said. “This is something I want to go into. It also gives us great experience in teamwork.”

While robotics is a competition, rival teams often help their competitors with parts and knowledge.

“It’s pretty common for the other teams to just give each other parts, when needed, during the heat of competition,” said Isaac Johnson, one of the volunteer team mentors. “It’s great to see the teams help each other out.” Johnson is a robotics alumni who, when in high school, competed with the Gateway to Success Academy team. He and his father, Jeremiah Johnson, both volunteer. Jeremiah’s son, Asher Johnson, is a member of the MCC team.

The MCC team will compete in two tournaments this season. Friday, March 1 through Sunday, March 3, the team will be at Berrien High School. It will then compete at Orchard View High School later in March.

Other members of the competition team include Gabriel Danielson and Cameron Carsten.

Anyone wishing to donate to the MCC Robotics Team may send a check to Mason County Central Schools, 300 W. Broadway Ave., Scottville, MI 49454. Write “Robotics” in the memo.

The MCC Educational Foundation Community Auction takes place on Saturday, March 2 at Graystone Event Center, located at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 4079 W. US 10-31. Tickets are $35 per person which can be purchased at West Shore Bank in Scottville, Smith & Eddy Insurance in Scottville or the Chamber Alliance of Mason County in Ludington. For more information, click here.


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