Oceanside High School is one of eight winners of the Gizmo Garden Grants that enable Maine organizations to provide gender-balanced education in the fields of coding, electronics, and robotics for Maine students in grades 6-12.

Gizmo Garden is a group of Lincoln County residents who promote engineering opportunities for students in Midcoast Maine. Their Gizmo Garden Fund enables schoolteachers, librarians and after-school leaders to promote gender-balanced projects that allow students to combine an interest in technology with artistic expression.

Next school year, Oceanside student artists and engineers will come together to give life to a kinetic sculpture. Although Oceanside already has a gender-balanced competitive VEX robotics after-school club, it will add a second VEX team to work with art students to create a small-scale sculpture with robotic motion.

Gifted & Talented teacher Anne Pietroski, robotics coach Janet Corcoran and art teacher Jared Cowen will lead the project, assisted by technology integrator Esther McKay, The Steel House co-founder Nathan Davis and MidCoLabs co-founder Andrew White. Phase 1 funding of $10,600 will provide teacher and artist stipends for planning and advising, plus additional VEX robots. A possible phase 2 could enable turning the student prototype into a larger professional installation for the public to enjoy.

For additional information, visit gizmogarden.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.