East Central Indiana Robotics, Team 1720 Receives Grant

East Central Indiana Robotics, Team 1720. Photo provided. East Central Indiana Robotics, Team 1720. Photo provided.

By Frank Braswell—

MATTHEWS, Ind.—East Central Indiana Robotics, Team 1720 the PhyXTGears recently received a $10,000 grant from the Give to Grant Cycle through The Community Foundation of Grant County, Indiana, Inc. Thanks to this grant, East Central Indiana Robotics, Team 1720 the PhyXTGears is able to fund ongoing needs for registration and travel fees for robot competitions, and purchase robot parts.

According to Meagan Mathias, Grants Manager for Community Foundation of Grant County: “The Community Foundation of Grant County is so pleased to provide this funding for East Central Indiana Robotics. From fueling students’ passions andlearning professionalism to participating in a sport where everyone can turn pro, Team 1720 the PhyXTGears is an asset to Grant County.”

The mission of East Central Indiana Robotics, Team 1720 the PhyXTGears, is to cultivate excitement, understanding and skill in the fields of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) through the FIRST® (For Inspirationand Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics program. Through the use of problem-solving, teamwork, time management, and project development, East Central Indiana Robotics promotes innovation, integrity and passion in all wedo, and strives to prepare student leaders in order to positively impact our local community.

At PhyXTGears Team 1720 we give high school students hands-on STEAM oriented training in a mentor based, supportive environment. Our students come from multi-ethnic & multi-racial backgrounds, and about ¼ of our students are female. Stop by at one of our regular meetings and you can see the results of our program first-hand. Watch our students run CNC milling machines, design with CAD, work with tools in the wood shop, run a laser cutter, program our robot computer, or manage our website and social media. Our mentors are by their side teaching new skills and encouraging them.

The success of our students is at the heart of what we do, and it’s always nice to receive awards as we compete with other teams. Below is a list of awards received by PhyXTGears over the years.

  • 4 World Championship Awards & Invitations
  • 7 State Championship Awards (6 State Invitations)
  • 8 District Awards
  • 10 IRI Indiana Robotics Invitational (win in 2019)

According to Shawn Van Ness, the mission of East Central Indiana Robotics, Team 1720 the PhyXTGears aligns perfectlywith the Community Foundation’s effort to connect people, resources, and causes to promote sustainable impact for the betterment of Grant County. Because we are a community based organization, our students are more likely to remain in the area after graduation, and already possess the skills necessary to be a productive member of the workforce.

Founded in 2006, East Central Indiana Robotics, Team 1720 the PhyXTGears is a leader in STEM based training using robotics, providing creative solutions for community high school students.

Our parent organization, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology at https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc), is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12) that can be facilitated in school or in structured after school programs, or through community based teams such as PhyXTGears.

We’re like a sports team, except at our competitions we cheer for our robot. “The only difference between this sport and all the others, is that every kid on our teams can turn pro.” – FIRST Founder Dean Kamen

In 2006, our robotics team was the 1720th team to register under the FIRST® organization. Today there are thousands ofteams registered worldwide. We also took on the name PhyXTGears (https:// phyxtgears.org/), which is a mash-up of “physics”, “XT” computer and “gears.” For business purposes, the name of our non-profit 501(c)(3) is East Central Indiana Robotics.

Interested parents can contact us at phyxtgears@gmail.com. We also need mentors in woodworking, metalworking, CNC,CAD, 3D printing, software, electronics and other tech and trade skills. Stop by during our team meetings for a tour. We love to tell our story.

If you own a business and are looking for summer interns please contact us. Our students are highly motivated and already possess the technical and trade skills that will make them a valuable addition to your workforce.