KENNETT SQUARE >> Dan Folmar thinks Kennett High School students are among the most ingenious and the most creative in Chester County.
Folmar, a Kennett High physics teacher and STEM teacher is the coach for the Kennett High Demon Robotics team, which consists of 35 diverse Kennett High school students, who will be traveling to Detroit later this month to compete in the world robotics championship.
“It takes an incredible amount of ingenuity, creativity, hard work and determination to get this far,” said Folmar, who has guided the team to their second world championship in as many years. “We are competing on the highest level.”
The Kennett Robotics team joins the Downingtown High School Robotics team that will be traveling to Michigan to compete internationally for the top honor.
“My most sincere congratulations to the students, their parents and coaches that make up our Demon Robotics Team,” said Barry Tomasetti, Kennett Consolidated School District superintendent. “The time commitment for all involved is incredible, and I greatly appreciate everyone’s commitment in representing our team and our High School at such a high level. To succeed in this type of competition the participants must demonstrate teamwork, quick thinking to solve problems, and the human relations skills to work well with teammates as well as with those they compete against. The robotics competitions are project learning experiences at their very best.”
The four-day international competition will host 1,400 teams from the U.S. and 62 countries encompassing all four FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) programs, with over 60,000 attendees expected. Approximately only around 2 percent of United States FTC teams advance to the World Championship level.
Recently, the Kennett Robotics team, ranked 16th overall, won the Mid-Atlantic Region District championships held at Lehigh University.
The robotics program is unique. Kennett has teams which work on strategy, scouting competitors’ teams, mechanical teams and electrical teams. A group of 10 adult mentors work closely with the students. The team has six weeks to construct three robots which will go up against three robots from an opposing team.
“This is a very unique program,” Folmar said.
Taxpayers will not have to fund the students’ trip to Detroit to compete, because it is funded by parents. Fundraisers have been established for those students who cannot afford the expense.