An emergent robotics program continues to take shape at Pulaski County High School, and now others beyond the county are beginning to take notice. Two weeks ago, Gov. Terry McAuliffe visited a cyber security class at PCHS to watch students maneuver their robots through obstacles using computer code.

Last week, Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC) presented a $500 check to the high school’s robotics program that was provided by Pulaski’s MOVA Technologies. RBTC Director Robert McAden called it “seed money” to help get the high school’s robotics team going. “As a graduate of Pulaski County Schools and a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, I understand the importance of innovation. In modern America, if you are not innovating and fostering new ideas and growth, you are moving backwards,” says Tyler Clontz, public information officer for MOVA Technologies in downtown Pulaski.McAden says RBTC’s “footprint” has always included both the Roanoke and New River valleys: “We are recognized as the premier organization bringing the two regions together.”

He says RBTC’s desire to cover the NRV isn’t new but the organization is “being more intentional in reaching out to areas in both the New River and Roanoke valleys beyond the major metropolitan areas. We have recently hosted events in Pulaski, Salem, and Botetourt and plan to continue to look for ways to reach other areas within our footprint.”

RBTC was founded in 1998 as the New Century Technology Council at the same time similar bodies were formed
across the state. It was eventually renamed the Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council.

“I hope this seed money will be the start of a great new program in Pulaski County schools,” said Steve Critchfield, president of MOVA. As Clontz explains, “Our company MOVA is centered on an innovative technology that would not exist if it weren’t for the opportunities to learn and grow that have been given to many people. For
this reason, we are glad to contribute and help create more opportunities for our future innovators by supporting the Robotics Club for Pulaski County schools.”

(Source: The Southwest Times – Sept. 2017 – PDF)

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