February 12, 2021
Athletes in Action
7th grade ELA
One Student Moves From Robotics to Assistive Technology
This school year has seen many activities canceled or modified leaving many students without any options but Nick Lerew has found another way to use his talents. Nick has been a member of the UAMS/BHS robotics team since he was in 7th grade. Last school year Nick participated in a robotics competition with other middle and high schools. He designed and programmed robots to play pianos, move through obstacle courses and move materials.
This year without robotics competitions, Nick has connected his talents with helping special needs students through the repair of assistive technologies. Nick and his robotics advisor, Bob Dwyer, have partnered with the Assistive Technology Makers (AT Makers) at the Lincoln Intermediate Unit (LIU) in New Oxford. The LIU provides many services for special needs students in the area. The projects that Nick has been working on help students with speech disabilities communicate with others.
Sometimes assistive technologies are simple toys that have been modified to include a large push button all the way to more advanced communication devices. With many of these devices being used by very young children the devices break down over time. This is where Nick works to repair these devices and get them back to the students who need them. Whether it’s a simple cleaning of a battery compartment or re-soldering broken wires, Nick troubleshoots the problem and gets the job done.
So far this year Nick has fixed a couple of dozen assistive technology devices. Nick’s efforts are a great example of how a student can redirect his or her time and talents to make a big difference despite the challenges of this school year.
The Diversity Club would like to encourage all students to participate in the Black History Month QR Code Scavenger Hunt. You can find the question sheets located next to the Diversity bulletin. Use your device to scan the (7) QR codes hidden throughout the middle school hallway. Completed forms can be submitted into the white box for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.
Also while you are searching the hallways for the hidden QR codes, please note the #BecauseOfThemWeCan posters created by the Diversity members. Good luck and thank you for your participation!