Robotics program receives $3,000 grant

Donation funds classes and club

The College of the Canyons from Santa Clarita donated a $3,000 grant to Oak Park High School’s robotics program, which was accepted at the board meeting on Feb. 18, 2020.

The money received helps support the entire robotics program, including the club and classes. Robotics Club Co-Advisor Erik Amerikaner, who advises the program with Allan Prescott, stated the funds will be used to pay for equipment, supplies and competitions.

“We have six to seven competitions a year throughout Southern California, and we have between five and fifteen members per year,” Amerikaner said. “[The robotics team] designs a robot, builds a robot, and they compete against anywhere from ten to twenty schools in competitions for the VEX [robotics program].”

Amerikaner stated that he feels “fabulous” about the robotics program receiving this grant.

“[The grant] supports the club, because if we didn’t have the money for the club, we wouldn’t be able to buy the parts, which we have to buy every year, and we wouldn’t be able to afford the competitions,” Amerikaner said.

Oak Park High School’s robotics program has previously applied for and received grants from College of the Canyons, the largest being $5,000.

“It varies year to year, depending on how many schools apply and how much money the community college gets from the state,” Amerikaner said. “Then they divide up that money depending on how many schools apply and how much money they have.”

Grants such as these allow the robotics program to expand in multiple ways.

“[Mr. Prescott is] using a lot more equipment, we’re doing a lot more programming and building of robots, we’re expanding the classes and we’re also expanding the club with more people being interested in that,” Amerikaner said.

Oak Park Unified School District expresses thanks for opportunities to improve its program.

“We are grateful to receive this generous grant for the robotics program, which is opening doors for our students in the STEM fields,” Superintendent Tony Knight wrote to the Talon.