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New and growing technology opportunities powered by student interest 

New and growing technology opportunities powered by student interest 

Student involvement in engineering and technology programs has led to the expansion and creation of new opportunities at McNicholas. A successful season for CyberPatriot teams, the first-ever robotic garden, engineering service projects, and the introduction of an all-new robotics course are just a few of the school’s technological advances.  

CyberPatriot Success

The CyberPatriot team completed their most successful season to date. They grew from one competition team to three with all three teams competing at the highest level, platinum. The original team finished in 2nd place in the State competition. Because of their success, the members of two of our teams, Remington Holder, Eli Holland, Tanner Shelly, Will Tipton, Alex Dalton, Will Homan, Lou Smith, Alex Stewart, Kaelin Timko, and Joe Trimble, were all awarded $2,000 scholarships to Gannon University’s Cybersecurity program.  

Exploring Automated Agriculture

The first-ever robotic garden is in bloom! Funded by the Toshiba grant, this cross-disciplinary experiment is testing two Tertill robots and a Farmbot on their ability to plant, water, fertilize, and weed a garden. Students are monitoring the progress and when it’s time to harvest, all vegetables will be donated to a local soup kitchen. To keep up with the garden, check out the student run Instagram  

Networking with INTERAlliance

20 technology students participated in the INTERAlliance TechOlympics, competing with other schools in challenges focusing on programming, design, networking, and more. Students also received advice from professionals about resumes, job interviews, and applying for internships. This networking opportunity has already helped several of our students land paid summer internships in technology.  

Academy Days for UC Early IT

Our UC Early IT Program gives students the opportunity to earn college credit during their time at McNicholas. Recently, 23 students participated in UC’s IT Academy Days which helped prepare them for a future in information technology. They toured campus, met with professors, participated in an app creation activity, and heard from a student panel which included McNicholas graduate Riley Fitzgerald ’23.

Engineering Accessibility

Students in our engineering program practice authentic engineering skills by developing, building, and testing designs to solve real-world problems. Engineering teacher, Mr. Steve Dalton, has a longstanding partnership with May We Help, a non-profit organization co-founded by McNicholas graduate Bill Deimling ’61. May We Help designs, builds, and delivers custom assistive devices to help people with disabilities achieve independence. Rockets have worked on projects creating accessible toys, beds, athletic equipment, Halloween costumes, and more. Recently, students built a functional wheelchair lift designed to make a family’s camper accessible for their wheelchair-bound daughter.  

Tailor-Made Robotics Course

Students on our Competition Robotics Team are introduced to the world of technology and programming in a collaborative setting, laying the foundation for them to pursue IT paths after graduation. Beginning in the 2024-25 school year, McNicholas is offering Robotics as a year-long course available to students in all grade levels. Students who are interested in design, engineering, and programming of robots or a related technical career will be challenged in both programming and engineering. The course is being designed by math and technology teacher Mr. Matthew Brunner who is excited to share his passion for robotics with more McNicholas students.