Petit Family Foundation Grant to benefit Southington students

Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2012 7:55 pm

Farrah Duffany | 0 comments


Department head Justin Mirante said he plans to use the $7,260 to buy five VEX Robotics classroom kits for the students.


The kit is a robotics design system that gives students the chance to use their skills in engineering, math, science, and technology. It enables students outside the robotics team to build robots in class. There are motors, batteries, control panels and more that students will learn how to use with the tools inside the classroom kit.


The purchase is to “get robotics resources integrated into our curriculum,” Mirante said.


The new kits will be used in multiple courses in the department, including computer engineering, introduction to engineering, and introduction to technology. Women in Science and Engineering and The Technology and Engineering Club will also reap the benefit of the equipment.


The grant was formed to honor the memory of Jennifer Hawk-Petit and her daughters Hayley and Michaela, who were murdered during a home invasion in 2007.


Roland Petit, an administrative assistant for the foundation, said the committee was happy to award the grant to the high school.


“Knowing that Jennifer was a nurse and Hayley was going into science to be a doctor,” Petit said, “that fit right into the mission of the girls and supporting what they loved. It fit right in with the program at Southington High School with the robotics.


About seven different grants are awarded each year to “foster the education of young people, especially women in the sciences; to improve the lives of those affected by chronic illnesses; and to support efforts to protect and help those affected by violence,” according to the Petit Family Foundation website.


Mirante said that with the new kits, students will be able to learn more in the areas of energy and power transfer, teamwork, computer programming, statics, and kinematics.


“This robotics platform is a great way to get students interested in the interdisciplinary nature of technology,” Mirante said.


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