In the summer of 2013, Matthew Hyatt, who was entering sixth grade, wanted to learn RobotC, a programming language. Initially, he wanted to take a summer class with a few friends at a local high school; however, he was told by school administrators that the group couldn't register due to their age. Without anywhere to turn for classes, this group decided to find online resources and learn RobotC on their own. After learning the language, this middle school group decided they wanted to build a robot and compete, too. With guidance from retired machinist, Jay Clayton, and retired teacher, Mike Dischner, they worked on a plastic foldout table in the basement of Matt's house.
In their first season, FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Team #7060, won the Lehigh Valley Regional Tournament by competing against a majority of high school students from five states. They also won the "Rookie Team" award. Since robotics competition programs did not exist in their school district, especially for kids their age, a decision was made to start a community-based program for grades K-12. With direction from Matthew and assistance from his mom, Dr. Kim Hyatt, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Team RobotiX, FTC team #7060, became a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization through a generous donation from Eckert Seamans Law Firm. Matthew Hyatt, the founder of Team RobotiX, launched a successful STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) organization as a middle school student.
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Team RobotiX received start-up support from STEAM professionals in the community, especially Tim Friez, Vice President of Product Development at Robomatter and co-developer of RobotC software. Tim served as Matthew's mentor during his younger years. Then, Team RobotiX became a Capstone Project (client) in 2015 at CMU's Tepper School of Business through Dave Mawhinney's class. Dave is the director of the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship and executive director of the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship. His graduate students, Mitch Kosowski, Alvin Chou, Gene Merewether, and Gautam Narang, worked with Matthew, Kim, Suzanne Wynn (Team RobotiX grant writer), and Erin Cawley (Team RobotiX instructional technology teacher) to develop the organization's business, strategic and marketing plans.
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By 2017, Team RobotiX has interacted with 6000+ students and teachers through workshops, STEAM field trips, robotics teams, "kids teaching kids" programs, and guest speakers. Initially, Team RobotiX brought NASA to the region to host free teacher training. Then, partnerships were formed to host events at and/or with the following companies: WQED, Robomatter, Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Academy, BirdBrain Technologies, Remake Digital Learning Corp - an initiative through 'The Sprout Fund,' Carnegie Science Center, etc.
Team RobotiX hopes that you'll support our efforts as we continue to expand our outreach into local communities.