Dock is a leader in local and regional robotics
Who We Are
Dock’s robotics team was formed in 2008 when former math teacher Mrs. Gail Anderson and a couple of interested students began attending local VexTM Robotics competitions.
The concept of a local robotics competition originated in a mechanical engineering course Mrs. Anderson took at MIT in which students were given a box of parts and instructed to build a robot to perform a specific task—such as a tug-of-war, or collecting water bottles into a receptacle.
The concept has evolved into multiple levels of competition from middle school through college. Dock’s team has grown to 15-20 students who meet regularly and compete in several area events throughout the year. In the past, Dock has also hosted its own regional competition, which was a qualifier for the world championship Vex event and was one of the largest events in eastern Pennsylvania.
What We Do
Students meet regularly to brainstorm, build, and test concepts and designs of robots using the Vex system. Students operate the robots by remote control, but also learn to program them to perform autonomously. Basic robotics and mechanical skills are taught and applied, but students also gain valuable life experiences such as teamwork, time and budget management, and problem-solving.
Technology that enhances learning
Dock equips students with leading edge technology to enhance learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. An equally important goal is for students to learn to use technology responsibly.
At the start of the 2019-2020 school year, Dock can provide a new iPad 2018 model to all 9th grade students, and an iPad Pro 9.7 Wifi to new upperclassmen. Our 1:1 strategy provides equitable access to technology, opportunities for active and engaged learning, practice in responsible use of technology, and preparation for college and career.
We expect to concentrate the curriculum in the areas identified by the national standards for technology:
- creativity and innovation
- communication and collaboration
- research and information fluency
- critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making
School issued iPads are on loan to the student. In the event a student withdraws or leaves the school, the iPad must be returned unlocked and in working order or purchased at fair market value. Students are not required to take a school iPad if they wish to purchase their own device (iPad, Laptop\Surface Pro, etc). If you plan to use your own iPad or other personal device, please notify Darwin Zehr, Director of Technology. A smartphone is not a suitable replacement for an iPad. All students operate under the same guidelines and expectations for appropriate use. Upon graduation from Dock Mennonite Academy, iPads become the properly of the student and they may keep them at no additional charge
Expectations for safe and appropriate use
All students and parents are to complete an iPad contract which spells out expectations for appropriate use, for both school-owned and personal iPads.
Filtered internet access is provided on campus through individual student Wifi access accounts. Students may NOT share their individual access account with others, or broadcast or connect to personal internet hotspots while on campus.
All devices that connect to the school’s network must have appropriate names that properly identify the device’s owner.
Failure to follow the above guidelines may result in disabling of network access.
The school utilizes a mobile device management system for delivery of school-required apps and content, inventory management, and facilitating safe and appropriate use.
Insurance coverage for iPads is provided by Dock Mennonite Academy as part of the student's tuition. This insurance provides for one replacement, provided students keep the iPad in a case.
Keyboard cases are required for each iPad. These cases are not provided by the school. The ZAGG rugged book-level case is strongly recommended for iPad protection.
Our 1:1 implementation task force continues to discern best practices, apps, policies, management strategies, and other components of the program.
Please contact Mr. Darwin Zehr for more information.