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MadRockers searching for practice, testing space

MADISON – With students from three schools, the robotics team that represents Madison City Schools is ‘homeless.’ The team hopes to find a practice space they can call ‘home.’

“The MadRockers Robotics Team has joint membership from James Clemens and Bob Jones high schools,” Coach Jonathan Bailey said. “Hexagon/Intergraph has allowed us to work in one of their facilities on Dunlop Boulevard for the last 10 years with a $0 lease.”

“However, they recently had to sell the building and procured a buyer who requested current tenants be given notice to move out. Therefore, we’re looking for a new home for the MadRockers,” Bailey said. Fortunately, “Huntsville Hospital has granted an extension until Oct. 31 for our current space.”

The team doesn’t have funds for an expensive lease. “We’re hoping to partner with a new sponsor who would lease space in return for advertisement for the business or organization as one of our main sponsors,” Bailey said.

MadRockers needs 1,500 to 2,500 square feet, preferably industrial space available until April 2020. The team needs to secure the space to protect their parts inventories.

The site needs to be inside or in proximity of Madison with electrical power, lighting and restrooms. The team will meet on nights and weekends.

Students who are at least 14 years old and satisfy attendance requirements can join the FIRST robotics competition team. One mission is to prepare students for careers in STEM. “We want to limit barriers and allow as many students as possible to benefit,” Bailey said.

To-date, 21 students are participating this semester — 9 from James Clemens, 12 from Bob Jones. Four girls and 17 boys have joined. Bailey expects many more students to join.

Since 2009, MadRockers has produced robots for both the BEST and FIRST robotics competitions. BEST engages students about STEM careers with project-based work using the Engineering Design Process.

Since 1989, FIRST has challenged students to apply their knowledge and strategic skills during STEM training. FIRST creates a culture of youth who recognize the joy of innovation and creation.

To comment, email jbailey@madisoncity.k12.al.us or visit rockers.enrog.com.

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