Our May Hometown Hero is Naomi Edwards. Naomi is a math teacher at Kettle Falls High School, which is just a fraction of what she does. She also teaches robotics in her first-period class AND many afternoon and weekend hours. This is her fifth year leading the robotics team. The class covers CAD, coding, engineering principles, etc. The school got a grant and now has an amazing metal shop where students are learning job skills like the lathe, mill, etc. Naomi works with ten volunteer mentors under her guidance, and we learn more from her every day. Each year the team has six weeks to design and build a robot based on game and technical specs released in early January.
We’ve participated in two robotics competitions recently in Yakima and Spokane. Yes, she takes 25 or more students to out of town competitions! They scored well enough in those two competitions they qualified to go to the competition in Portland, OR. After that, they even competed in the World Championships in Houston In April. It is the second time for the team; they also went to the World’s Robotic Competition in their second year!
The team competes against teams in WA, OR, and AK — some big teams with deep pockets. Yet, this little team from Kettle Falls has won awards like Engineering Inspiration (twice!), the Quality Award, Rookie All-Star, and Rookie Inspiration Awards.
A couple of years ago she helped the girls on the team start an outreach program to help younger girls get interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects. Check out www.facesofengineering.com for more information.
She also extends help to the Northport robotics team and this year has been helping the Okanogan team, too.
To top it all off, she and her husband (another volunteer mentor) have four young daughters.
Given all the different projects and students she works with, Naomi is the teacher we wish we’d had in school!
Recently Senator Shelly Short recognized Naomi and the team for their positive influence on the region. https://youtu.be/T8lCvuK70Tg is a video of Senator Short’s remarks and here is a link to the resolution. http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2017-18/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Resolutions/8695-Canine%20Crusaders-Edwards.pdf
Naomi, congratulations on being this month’s Hometown Hero!
To find out more about the Naomi and her robotics team visit www.4980robotics.com
Heeling Hands Massage LLC & The Huckleberry Press are proud to bring you the Hometown Heroes feature. One worthy individual, nominated by the community and best representing the spirit of a Hometown Hero, is chosen each month to receive a free one-hour massage by Brianna Oleson at Heeling Hands Massage in Reardan, WA. Do you know someone who exemplifies what it means to be a Hometown Hero? A fantastic firefighter? A terrific teacher? A community member whose love for their town is easily seen and demonstrated? Tell us who you think deserves a one hour massage and why! Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 1st of each month and watch for the next Hometown Hero announcement!