Giving Back

Sparta Education Foundation Support Results in Award, High Recognition for Sparta High School Robotics Team

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Credits: Provided by Mark Meola
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SPARTA, NJ - The Sparta High School Robotics Team capped off a winning season when they were invited to participate in the 2015 VEX Robotics World Championships held at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville from April 15 to18.  Mark Meola, the Applied Technology Teacher at Sparta High School, said team members competed against thousands of teams from around the world. The Robotics program at Sparta High School has been funded by grants from the Sparta Education Foundation since 2011.

The Sparta Education Foundation has played a key role in the success of the Robotics program at the high school. “The SEF has been unwavering in their support of technical literacy for Sparta students,” said Mark Meola.  “This is evidenced not only through financial support but also by helping to cast a vision for unlocking the enormous potential in our kids.” 

Dorothy LaBeau, President of the Sparta Education Foundation, offered her congratulations to the Robotics Team on their multiple awards. “We commend these students for their hard work and dedication, and for representing Sparta in such an outstanding way. We are impressed by their many accomplishments this year, and we wish them continued success in the future.”

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Steven Viola, Dan Parker, Joseph Han and Jeremy Valshtein represented Sparta High School in the tournament. “Teams from 30 countries competed in fierce qualifying matches that put their science, technology, engineering and math skills to the test,” Mark Meolo said. “Although we didn’t take first place we had an awesome showing with Sparta being the highest ranking team from the state of New Jersey! Steven, Dan, Joseph and Jeremy really put Sparta on the global STEM stage with their robotic accomplishments!"

The Robotics Team also achieved two high honors at the Garden State Robotic Championships in Cherry Hill.  On February 21, the design team of Steven Viola, Joseph Han, Dan Parker and Tommy Apostolico competed against 39 teams at the state level and won the 2015 New Jersey State Championship Innovation Award.  Steven Viola, primary programmer, was instrumental in the Robotics Team attaining Third Place in Autonomous Programming.  Earlier in the season, this team was the recipient of the 2015 Regional Excellence Award.

The Sparta Education Foundation has awarded over $537,109 in grants to all five of Sparta’s public schools since 2007. The Foundation is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to engage the entire community in philanthropic giving that strengthens the public schools, supports teachers, and inspires students. For more information about the Foundation, visit spartaeducationfoundation.org.

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