Members of Laurel Lodge No.13 A.F.& A.M. presented a $1,000 donation into the happy hands of students of Joseph Lane Middle School’s Robotics program during the morning of Saturday April 17, 2021.
Joseph Lane Middle School teacher Steve Kiepert was determined to keep the robotics club going this year, even though the school year began with distance learning.
“My son grew up in robotics and I saw what it did for him, so it’s kind of a passion for me,” Kiepert said. “I really want to keep the robotics program up and running. And the kids, they’re amazing. I don’t have to tell them to do anything, they just get in the class and get right to work. They’re busy and super engaged.”
It is the third time Laurel Lodge has made a donation to the school, and one year the Lodge members helped build storage cabinets for parts.
“The Masons have been an incredible support to us,” Kiepert said, adding it was especially appreciated this year as the normal funding stream was significantly less than previous years.
The excitement and flow of ideas could be seen on the faces of the students as they tackled small setbacks with their growing problem-solving skills.
Ryan Boyer, a sixth grader, used to attend Hucrest Elementary School and was eager to join the team when he started middle school in the fall. He’s even more excited to get the opportunity to work with First Tech Challenge robotics next year.
“It looks fun and really confusing too,” Ryan said.
When asked what his favorite part of creating the robots was, he answered, “It’s fun to test if they work or not.” He added that he learns most when they don’t work.
As good education for everyone is one of the goals of Freemasonry, it is evident by the smiles and concentration of these young people that Laurel Lodge is being a good neighbor in its community.
The donation from the members of Laurel Lodge even made the local newspaper. Thanks to Shane Godfrey, Education Reporter for the News Review.