BHEF provides robotics with grant of $5000, new possibilities

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Candice Anvari co-editor-in-chief  

Defne Onal managing editor 

Robotics advisor John Castle won the “Innovative Teacher Grant” for $5000 issued by the Beverly Hills Education Foundation (BHEF) on Sept. 24. 

The BHEF Innovative Teacher Grant provides faculty with the materials needed to impact student accomplishment within the district. BHEF has committed $20,000 to support this district-wide program.

This is the first grant Castle since he’s been at the high school, making the winning of the grant “really rare.” The most important aspect of the grant is that it will help the business part of robotics with buying new materials. 

“When we do competitions, kids have to build a robot. That takes tools and a lot of our tools are outdated. Our woodshop just had a remodel. We’re using the grant to buy new materials,” Castle said. 

Before going to competitions, the robotics team builds prototypes to make sure that their robots work. The grant money will aid in providing for more limited materials. 

“We always need to make mockups and prototypes using less expensive materials, like wood, to make sure that our concepts actually make sense before we invest too much limited materials into it,” business president senior Sarah Lepkowitz said. 

Vice president senior Eli Ramer believes the grant will primarily be used to buy calipers and other tools. 

“[Calipers] are rather fragile instruments and the ones we have are getting up there in age and toward the end of their lives,” Ramer said. “We’ll also be purchasing a limelight, which allows for our programming team to work on vision tracking. This could make it so the robot could see its surroundings and make calculations that would normally be impossible for a human.” 

With the new tools, Ramer hopes that the team will win their regional competition this year. 

“Our team has a legacy of championships, but more recently we’ve struggled to outright win a regional competition. I’m certain this year we can make it happen, especially with the help of the grant,” Ramer said. 

Castle also believes in the importance of this grant’s ability to produce more materials for students, as they have been outdated since the “school was built.” 

“It’s going not just to help this year’s students,” Castle said. “But it’s going to help students every year from now on.

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