Venice High celebrates STEM week with Bomb Squad robot

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VENICE, FLA. -- Venice High School students got an up close look at the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad robot on Wednesday. The demonstration was part of STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics week at Venice High School, a week-long celebration of all things engineering.

“You can tell the interest and the knowledge that the kids have. It is impressive, the engineering classes that they have today,” said Deputy Mike Day who is a member of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad.

Venice senior Donald Trentalange knows a thing or two about robotics.

“The students did the majority of designing and building. We would come in every day and work a little on it,” said Trentalange about the robot he and his classmates built to compete against other schools. The robot has to pick up and drop off objects as fast as possible while navigating obstacles.

“It is really cool when you get to actually build something amazing like this and then control it and pilot it yourself. It is a very accomplished feeling when it works as well as we have gotten it to work.”

Venice High School Engineering Instructor Larry Shannon says STEM programs in high schools help prepare students for today’s work force.

“It gives them great experience, it opens their eyes to robotics, opens their eyes to problem solving, opens their eyes to designing and having to work as a team,” said Shannon.

Trentalange and his classmates already know the importance of engineering, but thanks to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Bomb squad, the entire student body got to see how robots can help save lives.

“The robot saves us from putting human lives in jeopardy,” said Deputy Day.

And while the students were impressed with the bomb squad robot’s abilities, Deputy Day was impressed with the students like Trentalange.

“It is wonderful to see young minds in action and the things that they can do.”

Venice High School engineering students will compete in a STEM competition at Sarasota County Technical Institute on March 28.