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September 13, 2013

Smith Recognized for Outstanding Volunteerism

Congratulations to Andy Smith, a graduate student who works with the NC State STARS Student Leadership Corps on receiving a Presidential Service Award for Volunteerism (Gold Level) for his service work with Citizen Schools at Lowe's Grove Middle School in Durham, NC.
 
Smith, a PhD student advised by Dr. James Lester, has been a lead instructor of a LEGO Robotics apprenticeship for five semesters at Lowe’s Grove Middle teaching a 90-minute class once a week for 10 weeks each semester.  Students in the class are introduced to basic programming principles, learning how different types of sensors work and how they can be used by the robot to more intelligently interact with its environment. 
 
Throughout the course of the 10 weeks, students also learn about potential careers in robotics and computer science including what majors to pursue in college to achieve these careers.  At the end of each 10-week course, students present their group projects and what they have learned at a community showcase event called “the WOW!” where students can show off their newfound skills while also gaining experience giving professional presentations.  Class sizes have ranged from 14-23 kids, with a total of about 80 students going through the class during Smith’s time at the school.
 
About the Presidential Service Award:  America has a long and proud tradition of volunteer service. Now, more than ever, volunteers are renewing their commitment to help others and making new connections that bring us closer together as families, as neighbors, as communities and as a nation.
 
The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation (the Council) was established in 2003 to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in our communities and encourage more people to serve. The Council created the President’s Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. The program continues as an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
 
Recognizing and honoring volunteers sets a standard for service, encourages a sustained commitment to civic participation and inspires other to make service a central part of their lives.
 
The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes United States citizens and lawfully admitted permanent residents of the United States who have achieved the required number of hours of service over a 12-month time period – or cumulative hours over the course of a lifetime.
 
For more information on the President’s Volunteer Service Award, click here.
 
For more information on Smith, click here.
 

~coates~ 

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