(Ethete, WY) – The Wyoming Indian High School Robotics team, Electric Feather Robotics, engaged in a variety of community service opportunities over the last year even though they did not return to in-person learning until February 2021.
Electric Feather teamed up with their sister school, the Jackson Hole RoboBroncs, to provide the Wind River Reservation and surrounding areas with much-needed items during the pandemic.
During April and May of 2020, the teams made, collected and distributed 1,500 face masks, according to coach Scott Krassin. They also donated cleaning products, disinfectants and toilet paper that were in short supply at that time. The items were distributed to families during the Wyoming Indian Schools’ grab-and-go lunch program.
In January 2021, the team held a large clothing giveaway at WIHS, this was made possible through donations collected and delivered by the RoboBroncs, Krassin noted. Electric Feather made the clothing available to the community.
Subsequent clothing donations have been distributed by the NOWCAP Parents as Teachers office. Supervisor Stephanie Ghormley said, “We are extremely grateful for the clothes and other items that have been donated to us from the Jackson community.” This organization has helped to distribute items to families in need within the community.
The Electric Feather Robotics Team received grants from the HDR Foundation and the Wind River Casino. These grants will provide funding for startup robotics programs at other schools in the area, according to Krassin.
On May 8, 2021, Electric Feather and the RoboBroncs held their first outreach presentation where they supplied materials and instruction for five other schools. During the presentation, the members from both robotics programs helped schools from Fort Washakie, Dubois, Wind River and schools from Hardin and Lodgegrass, Montana, build robots that they will take back to their buildings. Since that presentation, Lander High School and Riverton Middle School have joined their outreach activities.
Due to the pandemic, Electric Feather Robotics was unable to travel and take place in statewide activities. During their time away from competitions they have been building robots that will be utilized in future competitions.
The 2021-22 season will begin in September with a kick-off activity to introduce the new game which is determined by the First Tech Challenge organization. This activity will involve many schools from around the state and will be followed by scrimmages taking place throughout the school year at different sites.
The culminating event will be the state competition which will be held in Casper, Wyoming in February of 2022.