Dock is a leader in local and regional robotics
Who We Are
Dock’s robotics team was formed in 2008 when 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 2018-2019 school year, Dock provides a new black 32gb wifi iPad pro 9.7 to all 9th grade students, and a 4th or 5th generation, 16gb, wifi-enabled iPad for all new upperclassmen students. 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
These iPads are on loan to the student. In the event a student withdraws or graduates, the iPad must be returned 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 iPad, or use a Laptop\Surface Pro in place of an iPad. If you plan to use your own iPad or tablet, please contact Darwin Zehr, Director of Technology. All students will operate under the same guidelines and expectations for appropriate use.
Expectations for safe and appropriate use
All students and parents should complete the attached contract which spells out expectations for appropriate use, for both school-owned and personal iPads.
The school will be using a mobile device management system for delivery of school-required apps and content. The system will also control and monitor use of the internet and apps for 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.