The Norton school system has been awarded a $5,000 STEM Competition Team Grant from the Virginia Department of Education.

John I. Burton High School science teacher Diane Kinser said city schools will implement the Virginia STEM Competition Team initiative beginning next semester at the high school.

The program will use a STEM Robotics Club composed of eighth grade students as the foundation for the new platform.

Burton will launch the STEM Robotics Club for the first year as a planning stage and the second year will be more of an implementation stage for a robotics program, Kinser explained in an announcement of the grant and new initiative.

“The overall goal is to use the Virginia STEM Competition to produce students that are critical thinkers, problem solvers and productive, contributing members of a robotic program,” she said.

Club members will form teams that design, build and program a small robot to compete in tournaments within the school for the first year and actual competition the second year.

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