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WSN students use decals to fund robotics club

Stephanie Nelson | The Brewton Standard WSN robotic club members Tyra Stallworth, Landon Tindell, Timothy Joyner and Issachar Watson sort through robotic components for their next build.

Stephanie Nelson | The Brewton Standard
WSN robotic club members Tyra Stallworth, Landon Tindell, Timothy Joyner and Issachar Watson sort through robotic components for their next build.

For a group of W.S. Neal students, it’s a project where creativity and ingenuity may soon catapult them to careers in the sciences – if not business, too.

Some 20 students, led by junior Landon Tindell and sophomore Timothy Joyner, have organized a robotics club that promotes electronics and technology. But, as many know, technology is expensive. And that’s where club sponsor Valissa Burnham came in.

Jasmine Carter and Valissa Burnham watch as a decal is created. Left: An example of the decal work.

Jasmine Carter and Valissa Burnham watch as a decal is created. Left: An example of the decal work.

“I had this Cricut vinyl cutting machine in my closet for at least 10 years,” Burnham said. “Everyone knows the vinyl decals are big right now, so (WSN) counselor LaKetha Bradley said, “Why don’t you make decals and make some money?

“And, it worked,” she said of the project.

Students raised enough money to purchase two VEX starter kits and components to build a total of four robots. Now, they would like to purchase a component kit, which begins at $5,000, to build 24-30 competition level robots and accessories.

“We want to compete against other schools with robotics teams,” Tindell said. “We design these plans ourselves. These are our own creations. When you see something you plan and build, it is very self-satisfying.”

Many of the students in the club, like Joyner, hope to pursue degrees in engineering or computer sciences.

“I’ve always been fascinated by engineer,” he said. “I love to build things, so this club is great for me.”

And Burnham agrees.

“That’s what makes this project so rewarding,” Burnham said. “These students are getting the skills they need to make career choices.”

Burnham hopes to raise enough money to allow students to attend competitions beginning next year. Students also pay a small club due to help purchase some supplies.

“When Ms. Bradley suggested using the cutter as a fundraiser, I thought it was a great idea,” Burnham said. “But, when I turned it over to (senior) Jasmine Carter, it really started developing into a club-wide project.”

Carter, who serves as fundraiser chair for the club, uses a “some program I bought 10 years ago too,” Burnham said to design the decals.

“I can take any design you have, as long as it’s not copy-writed, and create it for you,” Carter said. “We make everything from something for your phone or computer to a decal for your car.”

Charge is $1 per inch plus a $1 supply fee. The machine can design a decal up to 6-inches by 12-inches.

To place a decal order, email valissa.burham@escschools.net.