A group of students from Elkhorn High School has established a club called the Elkhorn Technology and Engineering Club (E-TECH). The group’s officers include President Hunter Parks, Vice President Allan Russell, Director of Technology Alex Roberts, Secretary Maria Vigueras, and Treasurer Jessica Flock.
The mission of the club is to introduce Elkhorn Area School District youth–from kindergarten through high school–to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Their initial goal was to start a program within their school district where kids could learn about topics such as electronics, motion, and the engineering process through hands-on experiences, such as building robots and electronic devices and participating in competitions.
Their second emphasis was to empower the younger generation to invent and innovate in order to make a path towards a brighter future. Participation in the E-TECH Club fosters an interest in the math and science disciplines and promotes successful strategies for teamwork, problem solving, and sportsmanship.
The group competes in the First Lego League, First Tech Challenge, Gateway College’s Sumo Bot Competition, West Point Bridge Building Competition, and the Future City Project. The club is seeking sponsorship to expand the number of students able to participate in competitions and to expand their involvement to include elementary school students.
At a meeting held at Precision Plus on July 19, 2013, the group met with Mike Reader of Precision Plus Inc. and Gary Huss from Hudapack to inform them of their mission and goals as well as to request sponsorship. Precision Plus and Hudapack both committed $500 as “Gold Sponsors” of the club. The students then took a tour of the Precision Plus facility.
Mike Reader resonated with the goals and aspirations of the students in the E-TECH Club. He added, “The students display great problem-solving skills combined with strong math and science backgrounds. These are the type of young individuals manufacturing needs. Exposing these great minds to the possibilities of manufacturing will certainly contribute to closing the gap.”
Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training at Precision Plus, has also committed to help supervise some of the club’s activities. Butters is a former teacher at Elkhorn High School, having taught advanced placement math courses including statistics and calculus, as well as Introduction to Engineering Design, a “Project Lead the Way” course.