Throughout the school year three Joy Global employees based out of Franklin, Pennsylvania have been mentoring the local high school VEX Robotics team. The Vex Robotics competition is presented by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation. Teams of students are tasked with designing and building a robot to play against other in a game-based engineering challenge. Classroom STEM concepts are put to the test on the playing field as students learn lifelong skills in teamwork, leadership, communications, and more. This is the first year Franklin High School has competed in the program and having Joy Global employees on hand to assist when difficult issues came up was extremely helpful.

“Kids learn how things work and are learning the basics of engineering principles. There is a lot of trial and error, but they don’t give up. The concepts they came up with were all theirs, we just help them work through some of the thornier issues” shared one mentor.

“It was exciting to see future engineers and see that there are so many good kids doing great things.” “These kids are our future.”

The team recently placed 5th out of 21 teams, and were in the top three for winning autonomous rounds. This qualified the team for the state competition coming up in March.

Helping the team were Dan Hoover, Technologist-Entry Development Engineering, James Wilson, Global Manager Smart Services and Ian Ruscak, CTE-Rotating Components, Gears.

Joy Global values the lessons programs like the Vex Robotics competition can teach to the next generation of STEM professionals. Students not only learn engineering and design principles but highly sought after soft skills that contribute to cultivating a well-rounded and polished professional in the future. Investing in STEM education, both financially and through volunteer service, is a priority for Joy Global.