BY KARISSA MILLER
VoltEDGE Robotics president and co-founder Martin Blue told Iredell County commissioners’ on Tuesday that the group’s goal is to “foster an environment that promotes communication, collaboration and leadership skills focused not only on improving individual expertise, but also the community at large.”
VoltEDGE team members, who attend Mooresville Graded Schools and Iredell-Statesville Schools high school that had an appointment before the board to present information on their new STEM initiative.
The team, operating under the Mooresville Youth Council, formed a countywide robotics club this year and have been building an robot that is capable of picking up Legos and performing other maneuvering tasks.
Despite juggling many responsibilities, including defining themselves as a club, finding team sponsors and outreach, the team has managed to qualify to attend the state competition on Feb. 29. According to Blue, only 32 out of nearly 150 First Tech challenge (FTC) robotics teams qualifies for state.
VoltEDGE team members represent five schools in both school systems. It began with a few students and has grown to 15 members, with the average age being 16.
The team meets on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at NASCAR Technical Institute campus, located off of Talbert Road in Mooresville.
VoltEDGE is open to seventh- through 12th-grade students from both Iredell-Statesville Schools and Mooresville Graded School District. Homeschool students in the southern part of Iredell County as well as charter school students can also participate.
Iredell commissioners complimented the group on their presentation and passion for STEM. They also praised their efforts to spark an interest in younger students as well as their peers.
Also, during the Feb. 18 meeting, the board:
♦ Approved a request from the Town of Troutman for approval of an easement to install a new sewer line across the Iredell County Fairgrounds Property.
♦ Approved a request from administration to accept a high bid of $8,050 on GovDeals for 174 Bentbrook Road, which was acquired through tax foreclosure. A total of $4,451.75 will be paid to Iredell County Tax Administration to satisfy the delinquent taxes owed and the remaining $3,598 will be transferred into the County’s General Governmental account, officials stated.
♦ Approved four requests from the Iredell County Public Library, including:
– A request to apply for discounted internet service under the Federal Communication’s E-Rate Program for Fiscal Year 2021.
– A request to apply for a Library Services and Technology Act Grant from the State Library of North Carolina.
– A request to apply for Continuing Education Scholarship Grant in the amount of $2,100 from the State Library of North Carolina.
– A request to use an updated logo to be implemented in FY21.
♦ Approved a request from the Finance Department for approval of audit contract from Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. for fiscal year ending June 30, 2020.