By Laura Lennie, News Staff
Orchard Park Secondary School Robotics program’s Team 2056 will be honoured during the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce’s annual Community Awards.
Team 2056 has garnered a Community Recognition Award for its extensive list of accomplishments, awards and local contributions over the years.
Awards committee chair Lori Raudnask says Orchard Park has gained global recognition and respect in the robotics community.
“In Stoney Creek, they have many businesses behind them who support the team with sponsorship,” she said. “Past students and parents come back as mentors to help and with staff, they have worked tirelessly over the years to become a global competitor. Their enthusiasm is contagious.”
Orchard Park teacher Stan Hunter started the Robotics program — the first of its kind in Hamilton — in 2006.
He founded Team 2056, which includes students from grades 9 to 12, in 2007.
Students are divided into different disciplines, including engineering, manufacturing, marketing, scouting and fundraising. Each one has an essential role to play when it comes to designing, building and getting the team and its robot ready for competition.
Team 2056 also includes adult mentors who work alongside the students in various capacities.
The team has gone on to grab countless consecutive FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) regional titles, make many FIRST World Championship appearances and snag a number of awards since rolling into the robotics game.
Team 2056 also lends its hand to different causes in the community, including collecting non-perishable food items for the volunteer firefighters’ annual food drive, gathering up donated clothing for the Canadian Diabetes Association and putting on Lego sessions for interested elementary-aged children on Saturdays at the Hamilton Public Library.
“We build great robots, but we also build greater students and thus citizens of Stoney Creek, Hamilton and Ontario,” Hunter said. “It is such an honour to be recognized by the chamber and the community for the work we do outside of building a robot. We as a team continue to develop and put in a lot of time and energy into giving back to the community and thus it is very nice to be recognized for it.”