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GHS robotics team seeks support, funding

June 27, 2014

Germantown — Reputation, innovation and networking are three things Emma Alberg enjoys about the robotics club at Germantown High School. She was part of the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) robotics program last year, an experience she described as both challenging and exciting.

"It turned out (the program) was a valuable opportunity for talking up Germantown High School, networking for college, and even networking for a future job," said Alberg, who is the daughter of FIRST robotics program organizer Mike Alberg.

The Albergs and incoming GHS freshman Shannon Siebers presented to the school board on Wednesday, June 25, a robot they built as part of the robotics competitions last year in an effort to request financial backing from the district.

"In many ways, this program functions like a business," said Mike Alberg, who oversees the judging at the Wisconsin regional event, serves on the regional planning committee and is chairman of fundraising committee of FIRST programs statewide. "Students have to work on all aspects of the program, such as business planning and sustainability, marketing, fundraising and website design."

Incoming GHS freshman Shannon Siebers was on one of six teams at Kennedy Middle School last year that participated in the First Lego League, which is for fourth- through eighth-grade and is the steppingstone for the FIRST robotics program at the high school.

"I learned that being in robotics is not all about the robot," she said. "It's about confidence and teamwork."

Those are among the reasons Mike Alberg requested the board consider the FIRST robotics team at GHS be officially recognized as a co-curricular, as well as give some thought to providing the team with a room to meet, a teacher sponsor to oversee the program and financial sponsorship.

The board did not discuss the proposal, but could do so at a future meeting.

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