Dollar Bay High School robotic program a winner

DOLLAR BAY – The Dollar Bay High School robotics program received one award for its efforts helping the National Park Service in 2012, and on Oct. 19, the program and the school district got another award from a state education organization.

Matt Zimmer, DBHS science teacher and aquatic remotely-operated vehicle instructor, said he was chosen to represent the Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Area Schools at a Michigan Association of School Boards Education Excellence Awards program in Lansing.

Zimmer said the Student Organization of Aquatic Robotics program and the district were nominated for the MASB award by K-12 Principal Bill Rivest. Dollar Bay High School won in the Community Engagement category for helping the employees at Isle Royale National Park search for zebra mussels infesting the park. The ROV was used, also, to help find a sunken yacht in Portage Lake just offshore from the campus of Michigan Tech University.

Zimmer said the award includes $2,500, which will be used for the ROV program and science curriculum enhancement.

In October 2012, the SOAR program received the National Park Service Hertzog Award for Outstanding Youth Group for the Midwest Region for their efforts with their ROV at Isle Royale.

Rivest said he appreciates the fact the MASB members considered such a small district as Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Area Schools.

“We’re pretty proud of the fact we were chosen to be in the top three,” he said.

Rivest said the DB-TC has advanced significantly in the past five years, particularly in technology education.

“This is a prime example of how we have raised the bar at Dollar Bay,” he said. “It’s a testament to the staff and students.”

Norman D. McKindles III, MASB regional representative, said its Education Excellence Award is intended to recognize innovative programs, which involve students, and the community.