Robotics Team Extends its Community Reach with Backpacks

An anonymous donor’s gift of 100 backpacks in 2020 to Dominican’s Robotics team extended its community reach a year later. The donor requested the backpacks be given to students who would benefit from them. August 2020, 25 backpacks were given to The Peace Center, the Dominican Sisters of Peace neighborhood outreach organization for people of all ages whose services include tutoring for children. The Peace Center is walking distance from Dominican.

The Robotics team includes students in grades 8th through 12th who build robots for regional and state competitions. Robotics moderator and coach Crissy Giacona, who also teaches science at Dominican, noted that service is an important part of the team. “The Peace Center was a perfect connection for this special and generous gift of school backpacks,” she said.

The COVID-19 pandemic put on hold further distribution of the backpacks, but the Robotics team found another perfect connection with Tulane University School of Science and Engineering. Mrs. Giacona presented the backpacks to Michelle Hewlett Sanchez, Ph.D., Director of the Center for K-12 STEM Outreach for the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering. A 2021 Ada Lovelace STEM Educator honoree, Dr. Sanchez is the Levy Professor of Integrated Discovery and Community Engagement, and Senior Professor of Practice, Physics and Engineering Physics. “Dr. Sanchez does many personal development programs to encourage STEM activities in the classroom,” said Mrs. Giacona. “She will donate the backpacks with some really great items in them to teachers in the community, ” said Mrs. Giacona.