Superintendent of Perry Township Schools
We are proud of the activities that we offer our students ... especially those that reach beyond the traditional classroom. You may be reading about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs throughout the state. There is a lot of focus on these areas because economists tell us that future career paths in high demand will fall into one of these fields.
The robotics program in our high schools is popular among our students and incorporates all four subjects into one activity – creating a robot. The success of programs like this is dependent upon corporate sponsors to not only financially fund the projects but provide in-kind support through personnel working side by side with students as they build robots for competition.
Perry Meridian’s Cyber Blue team, for example, began with about 15 people in 1999. The group has grown to more than 40 people volunteering hours and hours to produce a quality product. Southport’s Cyber Cards have about the same number of team members and eight mentors and a myriad of corporate partners.
Members from both teams learn important life skills that will help them be successful, regardless of their career selections. Technical skills such as computer programming and design, electronics and manufacturing are introduced throughout the program.
Becoming a member is a competitive process. Prospective members complete an application, submit a resume and interview for each season. Returning members also interview and participate in a performance review to discuss the previous year’s accomplishments and suggestions for improvement. This rigorous application process helps students prepare for real-world interviews and work interaction.
Cyber Blue and Cyber Cards could not exist and compete without strong community partners. Rolls-Royce, Allison Transmission and Morris Machine serve as mentors and offer internship opportunities for Perry Meridian students. Southport’s sponsors include Renaissance Electronic Services, IndianaFIRST, AndyMark Inc. and Rolls-Royce. Students are able to explore potential career paths through these unique experiences.
Both teams have developed opportunities to do demonstrations at several unique events. One project that Cyber Blue embraced was building a robot to throw out the first pitch at an Indianapolis Indians game.
Cyber Blue also discovered the chance to provide a forum for girls to compete and be responsible for all aspects of a team at a recent event. The squad developed and hosted the IndyRAGE (Robotics All Girls Event) for 14 area teams and recruited female volunteers and role models from several businesses and universities in the area. The event was a huge success and is being planned again for this year.
The good news is that students who participated in these programs had a 100 percent graduation rate; nearly all pursue a four-year college degree.
Perry Township prides itself in offering opportunities for students to become actively engaged in their high school experiences. Your high schools are busy day and night – six days a week – filled with students who are in pursuit of their dreams. We welcome and encourage that kind of student involvement and are proud of all of their accomplishments. Perry proud!