Have you ever heard of the Stellar Pixels? I attend a lot of meetings and presentations and sometimes it seems I see the same presentation more than once. Well, this week at Kiwanis we had a presentation that I didn’t know anything about. Three young men, Ben Eldredge, Gabe Gross and Bastian Cook, all members of the Stellar Pixels, came to share with us exactly who they are and what they are involved in.

Stellar Pixels is a First Tech Challenge robotics team sponsored by the Treasure Valley Christian School and is made up of eight members from the Western Treasure Valley. First Tech Challenge is a worldwide robotics challenge that helps with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), computer programming and problem solving. First Tech Challenge is a sport for the mind.

In September, team members started building their robot for the competitions that start in January. This is their first year and they had to purchase the robotics kit, electronics, playing field as well as additional parts specific to this year’s challenge. The team programmed its robot with a version of Android App Inventor and can control the robot from a cell phone.

One of the team’s coaches, Jessica Eldgredge, shared that the Stellar Pixels team is raising money to help cover its expenses to participate in the competition. If you would like to help promote engineering and programming through this program, the Stellar Pixels would appreciate your donation. Checks can be made payable to Treasure Valley Christian School, 386 S. Verde Drive, Ontario, OR 97914. Just make sure you note this is for the robotics team.

One meeting I wasn’t able to attend this past week was the kick-off meeting for Help Them To Hope. For more than 40 years, this nonprofit has been providing food, clothing and gifts to those in need in our community. There are a lot of ways for you to be involved and help with this great cause. If you can’t find a place to donate, drop your donations off at The Argus Observer. And watch for volunteer opportunities — anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated.

The Argus Observer, your community- involved newspaper, is committed to making the Western Treasure Valley a better place to live, work and play. If you have an item that you would like me to know about, email me at johnd@argusobserver.com or call me direct at (541) 823-4830.

John Dillon is publisher of The Argus Observer and Independent-Enterprise.

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