Kasson School Robotics Program
Kasson Elementary/Middle School, a small school in Northern Barbour County, has one of two girls’ robotic teams in the state of West Virginia. This year (2018) was the second year of doing robotics at Kasson, the first year for the girl’s team. The school has five different teams with about 50 students participating, totaling nearly a quarter of the school’s total students.
The school got interested in robotics competitions with a grant for a free robotics kit in 2017. That year, they placed first in the state, won the Middle School of Excellence award, and qualified for the World’s Event in Louisville, KY.
In 2018, the school got a grant from the Barbour County Community Foundation (BCCF) for a new robotics field – an interlocking set of foam tiles and competition grade walls. Dr. Teresa Marsh, the principal of the school and robotics team counselor explains, “We have to build, design, and program a robot to meet challenges that are different each year. The robots must throw balls through a net and throw foam stars over a fence. Next year is something to do with rings.”
In 2017, Kasson received a grant for tutoring. Miss Nestor, the math teacher, would stay after school two hours, twice a week for four total hours of tutoring all subjects. Marsh says, “It made a big difference in kids’ grades.”
Before that, they garnered a grant for supplies to organize the library. “We don’t have a librarian, so we bought bins to put our books in and developed a system that was intuitive for the children to be able to find and replace their books. It is a customized cataloging system by topic and reading level.”
From robotics to cataloging books, the Barbour County Community Foundation has helped Kasson School perform to the best of its ability.
“We’re excited every year when the grant form comes out to apply. It’s made a big difference for our school.”