Holy Sepulcher School

Holy Sepulcher Catholic School Robotics Program & Club Holy Sepulcher Catholic School will embark on our fifth academic year of adventures of robotics. Holy Sepulcher School is a Catholic school located in Middlesex Township in Butler County serving families from Mars, South Butler, Pine-Richland, Butler, Seneca Valley, and Freedom School Districts.

Through the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy, Westminster College, and our Midwestern Intermediate Unit, our school was able to send our Middle School Science and Math teacher, Mr. Rick Rechenberg, to a teacher’s robotics conference. During the conference, Mr. Rechenberg received first-hand training on how to implement a robotics program into our school, and we received 10 free Mindstorm LEGO robots and classroom software for our school.

Our school is blessed to receive the training, robots, and software for free! Thanks to a generous donation from the PPG Foundation and Holy Sepulcher families, we were recently able to purchase the new EV3 Robot for our Robotics Teams.

With the help of local businesses and interested individuals, we hope to secure further donations to purchase the final items needed to round out the program. Our goal is to use the motivational effects of robots to excite students about science, technology, engineering, and technology (STEM).

As students take part in computer, math, and science classes, they will work in teams to master robotic skills that will increase in difficulty as the year progresses. While learning how to work with a team and share ideas with each other, students will be integrating science, technology, engineering, and math skills. By using a hands-on, team approach to learning, our efforts will teach the students important STEM skills, improve student’s problem solving techniques, and increase their ability communicate and work effectively with each other.

We implement our Robotics Program in two parts. Mr. Rechenberg includes robots in the 6th-8th grade computer classes. Students learn how to use the software to program their robot to complete simple tasks. As they work on each task, they work in small groups. We build the skills needed to share ideas with others, to communicate thoughts, and to marry your ideas with other’s ideas. We also put into practice problem solving skills taught in math and science.

The amazing part of all of this learning through robots is that it will be so much fun. The challenges students face are exciting to overcome. And the idea of working with their classmates will encourage them to participate without them even realizing that a lot of learning is taking place.

The second part of our Robotics Program is an after school Robotics Club for 5th-8th grade. Our team of robotic engineers extend their learning in a continued team effort.

We meet on Monday evenings to prepare for the Western PA FLL Tournament and Championship Series that meets from September through January. In our many years, we have earned several trophies and advanced to the regional championship every year! We bring in experts from the field of robotics to assist students and offer their experience. Many of our students go on to take robotic courses in high school.

For the upcoming FIRST Lego League tournament, Holy Sepulcher School will sponsor 2 teams for a total of 12 sponsored teams in 5 years. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Carnegie Mellon University, Westminster College, the Midwestern Intermediate Unit, the PPG Foundation, and many of parents, teachers, and administers, our students are receiving the hands-on STEM education that every 21st century students deserves!