SHAHEEN STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF SCIENCE IN CONWAY

by Christian Mower on April 6, 2012

U.S. SENATOR JEANNE SHAHEEN OF NEW HAMPSHIRE GOT A HUGE ROUND OF APPLAUSE AT KENNETT HIGH SCHOOL IN NORTH CONWAY THURSDAY AFTERNOON AFTER SHE QUICKLY MANEUVERED A ROBOT TO PICK UP AND DROP A SMALL BALL INTO A CONTAINER.

STANDING NEXT TO SEVERAL DISPLAYS OF ROBOTS, SHAHEEN TOLD THE LARGE CROWD OF STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS THE U.S. NEEDS THEM TO STUDY THE FIELDS OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATH – CALLED “STEM” – FIELDS SHE TOLD THEM WOULD EARN THEM A GOOD PAYCHECK AS THEY REPLACE RETIRING WORKERS IN THE WORKFORCE.

SHAHEEN SUPPORTS LEGISLATION THAT PROMOTES AND FUNDS THE STEM FIELDS.

THE SENATOR WATCHED SEVERAL TEAMS OF STUDENTS PERFORM VARIOUS TASKS WITH ROBOTS THEY HAD BUILT AND PROGRAMMED. ONE ROBOT THAT LOOKED LIKE A CAR WAS ACTUALLY MOUNTED ON A PRINTER.

TEAM “STACK OVERFLOW” – DRESSED IN BLACK T-SHIRTS EMBLAZONED WITH THE WORD “EAGLES” -DEMONSTRATED HOW THEIR ROBOT – CALLED “TABLE RUNNER” – COULD MOVE DOWN A TABLE, GATHER A BALL IN FRONT OF IT – AND USE ITS SENSORS TO AVOID RUNNING OFF THE TABLE.

STACK OVERFLOW TEAM MEMBER KENNETT JUNIOR PHILIP MATHIEU OF FREEDOM SAYS HE MAY GO INTO ENGINEERING – AND THAT WORKING WITH ROBOTS MEANS YOU HAVE TO PREDICT THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS.

KENNETT PRINCIPAL NEAL MOYLAN SAYS MORE THAN 18 STUDENTS ARE STUDYING ROBOTICS THIS YEAR AND MORE COURSES WILL BE OFFERED NEXT YEAR. HE SAYS THE STUDY OF ROBOTICS CROSSES WITH OTHER DISCIPLINES LIKE PHYSICS, MACHINING AND COMPUTER ASSISTED DESIGN.

AFTER POSING FOR PHOTOS WITH THE ROBOTIC TEAMS, SHAHEEN HEADED NORTH FOR A TOUR OF THE GORHAM PAPER AND TISSUE MILL. SHE FINISHED HER PUBLIC APPEARANCES FOR THE DAY WITH A TOWN HALL MEETING IN BERLIN.