Franklin students present STEM project to board

Staff writer

The Franklin Area School District board was given a peek at what some of the district’s most gifted students have been up to through a presentation held by Franklin’s gifted program instructor Tim Heffernan and his class.

“These are pretty humble kids that don’t often get the credit they deserve, so it’s nice to see it happen,” he told school board members in the room.

He stressed that the students don’t just build robots but that they also focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM.

Students in attendance demonstrated an autonomous robot, a Blocker Lockers, that covers doorways in the event of a school shooter and a project that involved them converting a diesel engine to run on natural gas.

The gifted program will go to the Governor’s STEM Competition in Lancaster May 19 to show off their Blocker Lockers.

Heffernan stressed the cooperation of local institutions such as JOY Global who provided technical support and advice to students learning to program and work with engineering-related tasks.

Board president Brian Spaid said the display was “very impressive.”

Jim Ivell was there to make a request to the school board for a trip to the 2017 national tournament for the Academic Games Leagues of America in Wheeling, West Virginia.

He told board members that 2017 featured the largest number of students to have made the event for the district.

He also told board members that student Trevor Wood was tied for most successive trips to the event in his eighth time out.

“I think Franklin has become the team to beat,” Wood said. “We hope to continue our success at a national level.”