It’s the last thing I ever thought I’d say, but Parker High School is “out of this world,” and that’s no exaggeration.
Code, written by the Parker Robotics Team, traveled to outer space where robots tested the code in the Space Station. The nine best teams in the country, each made up of three high schools, advanced to the finals last month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Parker was joined by high schools from Virginia and California.
I’m proud to announce that Parker’s team finished fourth overall. That’s right; our Parker Robotics team went to outer space and came back fourth best in the nation.
Parker computer programming teacher Bob Getka is the team’s faculty advisor. He had these observations about the accomplishments of his students. “First of all, this is all about these students. They worked hard to get to MIT and, although we were knocked out in the second round; we came home with fourth place in the nation; something the team is very proud of. Last year we finished in 29th place. Right away, the team set next year’s goal as being1st.”
Here’s the team roster made up of 12 Parker students and one from Craig:
Blake Stacks - Lead Programmer
Jeff WaiteJeremy Watson
Joining the team for the four-day event at MIT were Tom Heiss and Julie Waite. While in the Boston area, the team visited the Technology Museum and received a tour of MIT.
I would like to share with you Bob’s thoughts on what the team’s success means to the students. “By successfully competing with the very best in the country, our students know they can aspire to moving on to the best engineering schools in the country. This MIT experience is a real confidence builder.”
Now here’s more exciting news. Two team members are headed to MIT to study. Sam Schendel has been accepted for fall enrollment while Blake Stacks is on MIT’s wait list. That’s an indication that one of the very best technology schools in the country recognizes student achievement here in Janesville.
Please join me in recognizing the entire Parker Robotic team at tonight’s Board meeting.
And remember our mission, "We serve our community by educating every student," including those who take us to outer space.