Reese ROVE Club hosts Thumb RC racing

By Bill Petzold

REESE — As far as Jacob Dohrmann is concerned, it’s a win-win situation complete with a checkered flag.

Dohrmann is a remote-controlled vehicle enthusiast and science teacher at Reese Elementary School, so when the opportunity arose to combine his hobby with a chance to educate his students, he had no qualms about giving his buddies at Thumb RC the green light.

And so the gym at Reese Elementary was buzzing with the sounds of tiny battery-powered motors on Saturday. Dohrmann said the event included five classes of racing, including three classes of experienced drivers competing in an event for Thumb RC.

“We had to run three heats of students alone,” Dohrmann said. “I was thrilled — that was the intent of the whole thing.”

Dohrmann has started an after-school club at Reese Elementary called ROVE — Rocket Outdoors and Ventures in Education.

“It’s technology- and science-based club,” Dohrmann said. “The club encompasses a lot of those things that I think need to be part of a child’s education, but we just can’t do them during the school day. My main goal for all of this is, schools like Kingston and Vassar have robotics teams, and these kids are a little young for that, but it’s not too early to get them thinking about different components that are part of that. I see a lot of these kids with their technical minds, it gets them involved with real-world physics. Sometimes, a lot of them just have to work on their eye-hand coordiantion to start at that basic level.

“I tie in the outdoors stuff too. This weekend we’re going to clean up the park. I’m just trying to create some well-rounded students and individuals.”

Dohrmann said that he started the ROVE club two years ago when he was Reese Elementary’s third grade teacher, and now that he has the same students in fifth grade, he said the bonds he’s built with parents and students have helped to generate support for the program.

“(RC racing) has always been an interest of mine, and if I can bring my students along for the ride, everybody wins here,” Dohrmann said. “I get to do what I like to do and they get to learn.”

For more information on ROVE, visit rocketrove.weebly.com.

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