Recently, the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Team number 10615, the Jefferson CyDogs of Jefferson Middle School in Midland had the opportunity to demonstrate their robot to a host of engineers and scientists at the XALT Energy, LLC Midland Battery Plant.
The team also toured the facility, which included going into the class 1,000 clean rooms where the battery cells are produced. According to Richard Cundiff, CEO of XALT Energy, they were the youngest group to ever tour the plant, ranging from 6th to 7th grade.
Participants included Robert Roe who said going through the five-person air shower was his favorite part. Liz Fowler enjoyed learning about the manufacturing processes while Casey Lambert appreciated the in-depth, exclusive tour of the facility and XALT’s support of the team.
The students were also given the opportunity to start a certain manufacturing process, see robots in action and build batteries out of common household items including lemons, potatoes, and pennies.
Each group measured the performance of their homemade battery and learned that a single XALT lithium ion battery is equivalent 1.6 million potato batteries. The Jefferson CyDogs appreciated how much time the XALT employees dedicated to this event.
XALT Energy was so impressed with these young scientists and engineers that it made a $1,000 donation to their program. The Jefferson CyDog team will use this money to build a second robot and its controls. The new system will enable them to be more efficient in developing, programming and testing their creation.
FIRST is a 501c(3) not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Founded over 25 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST is a Sport for the Mind™ where young, innovative, and creative minds explore science and technology, solving real-world problems and compete in exciting, hands-on robotic challenges. The annual programs culminate in an international robotics competition and celebration. Through their FIRST experience, participants win recognition, gain self-confidence, develop people and life skills, make new friends, and perhaps discover an unforeseen career path.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]