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Cass County Community Foundation announces $50,000 Grant from WHIN to support local robotics teams

Last Updated on July 15, 2022 by Cass County Community Foundation

Contribution supports purchase of robotics equipment, keeping kids engaged in learning and STEM activities

As the crowd gathered around the Pioneer robotics demonstration in front of Merchant’s Building One at the 4H Fair Thursday night, most students and fairgoers were unaware of the surprise announcement that was to come. Deanna Crispen, President & CEO of the Cass County Community Foundation, along with Audette Taylor from WHIN, (Wabash Heartland Innovation Network), and community foundation board members, surprised the local students and announced a $50,000 grant awarded to the Cass County Community Foundation from WHIN to enable the foundation to continue to support student robotics teams from four area school districts.

During the big check presentation, Community Foundation President & CEO Deanna Crispen, expressed gratefulness on behalf of the CCCF Board, the students, coaches, and the entire Cass County Community. She shared that the robotics programs at Caston, Lewis Cass, Logansport and Pioneer have grown to the point where they have more students wanting to compete than they have resources. WHIN’s funding will help address that challenge, as funds will be utilized to purchase additional competition equipment for the elementary, middle, and high school teams.

“The life skills, problem-solving and teamwork learned in robotics are an undeniable testimony to the value of these programs,” said Crispen. “As local interest in robotics continues to grow, this WHIN grant could not come at a better time.”

Currently within the four school systems, eleven schools host robotics teams with Pioneer Elementary scheduled to restart its program this year. Each of the schools was invited to submit a list of needed equipment with just over $18,000 earmarked for shared equipment that all teams can access.

The lessons these young robotics students learn go far beyond just building a robot. When asked why he wanted to participate as a Columbia Academy 6th grader, Jake Lupke said, “Participating in robotics meant friendship, fun, and learning. “

The Wabash Heartland Innovation Network is a consortium of 10 counties in north-central Indiana devoted to working together to fuel prosperity by harnessing the power of Internet-enabled sensors to develop our region into a global epicenter of digital agricultural and next-generation manufacturing. Funded by a $38.9 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. in 2018, WHIN’s goal is to make the 10-county region, which includes Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, Warren and White counties, the global epicenter for agriculture and next generation manufacturing using the sensor- and digital-based networks known as the “Internet of Things” (IoT).

To learn more about Cass County Robotics Programs, WHIN, or the Cass County Community Foundation, please call 574-722-2200.

SOURCE: News release from Cass County Community Foundation