Source: C & G News
Author: Sherri Kolade
FARMINGTON HILLS — A number of Mercy High School students sported red and white polka dot bandanas and blue-collar work shirts rolled up to the elbows.
The team of students embodied Rosie the Riveter, and they wore a picture of the powerhouse on their collars to boot Dec. 16 at the school.
The Mercy students have a reason to imitate the World War II cultural icon: She is the namesake of their school robotics team, The Riveters.
The Riveters, team mentors, community leaders and school officials gathered at the school to celebrate the team’s new robotics room with a ribbon cutting — a polka dot ribbon, naturally.
MHS and the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce held the ribbon cutting ceremony for the dedicated space that will house equipment and materials, and will host robotics activities, according to a press release.
The mission for the Riveters is to inspire interest in science, technology, engineering, and math for students at MHS, according to a press release.
Dan Riehl, a Riveters mentor and chair of the board of directors for the team, said the group has won a number of awards, including the state Jack Kamen Imagery Award for one of its robots, Polka Dot.
Riehl said female students deserve a chance to create robots.
“The girls can do it,” he said. “The challenge is, we got to give them an opportunity to do it.”
Riehl added that the team’s motto is, “We can do it.”
“But the truth is, you have to do it. There is nobody else,” he said, referring to the school’s all-girl enrollment.
Colleen Rozman, associate principal at MHS, said she never would have imagined just over two years ago, when Riehl approached the school about starting a robotics team, that they would be opening up a robotics area at the school.
A number of engineers, business people, volunteers and 20 driven students began the team in 2014. The team now has 48 students.
The robotics team was originally housed at Riehl’s place of business.
“What I am most impressed with from this endeavor is the dedication of all of the mentors,” Rozman said during the event. “We at Mercy High School are so blessed to have this robotics team ... at our school. We welcome the team to this new space and look forward to working together to inspire girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” collectively known as STEM subjects.
Anastacia Warner, an MHS 11th-grader, operated the robot during the ribbon cutting and said that three years ago, she wanted to be a lawyer, but that all changed.
“Now I want to be a computer engineer,” she said, adding that she “instantly” fell in love with the math side of programming. “I didn’t realize they use graphs the way we solve problems; breaking them down into really small pieces and making a huge problem achievable. That really interested me.”
For more information on the team, go to 1481robotics.wixsite.com/the-riveters.