Press Release


National Robotics Challenge Honors Bart A. Aslin for Outstanding Support to Engineering and Technology Programs

4/20/2010 - Published by SME Education Foundation,  (DearbornMI)
DEARBORN, Mich., April 20, 2010 — Directors of the National Robotics Challenge have awarded Bart A. Aslin, foundation director, SME Education Foundation, with their Third Annual Dr. James Hanneman Leadership and Service Award. The award honors and recognizes individuals who have shown outstanding support for engineering and technology programs at the middle school, secondary and post secondary level, and who have supported the continued growth of the National Robotics Challenge.

The award was presented to Mr. Aslin on Saturday, April 17 at the general awards assembly held at Marion Harding High School, Marion, Ohio. The award ceremony followed the 2010 National Robotics Challenge held April 15th – 17th and included the presentation of awards to competing students.

Acknowledgement of Bart Aslin’s leadership in promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is reflected in the expansion of youth programs supported by the SME Education Foundation. The Gateway Academy, a week-long day camp for 6th – 8th graders, offers a project-based, hands-on curriculum designed by Project Lead The Way (PLTW) to introduce middle school students to the fundamentals of STEM. In 2009, the SME Education Foundation held 237 Gateway Academies and reached over 4,800 students in 28 states. Their goal is to increase to 300 Gateway Academies in 2010. Mark Robinson of the Marion-Harding High School engineering program (Project Lead The Way – is involved in the school’s National Robotics Challenge.

Featured contests at the 2010 National Robotics Challenge, which promotes STEM-based education, included: Manufacturing Model; AgBot Challenge, SUMO and Mini-SUMO; Manufacturing Robotic Work Cell; Pick and Place Programming; Robot Construction; Robot Maze; Top of the Hill; Robotic Problem-Solving; Hockey Robot and Math Machine Challenge.

The National Robotics Challenge is a contest open to students in the 6th grade through graduate school. Since the program has low entry fees, and makes no demands on a mandatory kit to buy, schools have sufficient funds to spend on materials and equipment to build the robots. The curriculum allows students to continue with robotics projects as they progress through classes each year and meet students at the next level who will encourage and inspire them.

About National Robotics Challenge:
The National Robotics Challenge, an annual open-platform robotics competition, is designed to create interest and excitement around the field of engineering and design and is available to middle school, high school and post-secondary students. The event was created in 1986 by Tom Meravi, associate professor, Northern Michigan University and the late Dr. James Hannemann and known as the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Robotic Technology and Engineering Challenge (SME/RTEC) was recognized as a premier robotic and engineering event. In 2004 it was re-launched and renamed the National Robotics Challenge under the leadership of three Ohio educators: Ed Goodwin, Ritch Ramey and Tad Douce. Visit

About the SME Education Foundation:
The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $31 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit,, a new web portal for advanced manufacturing education, and our award-winning website for young people –

Media Contact Information

Contact NameKathy Carter
Contact Phone(313) 425-3302