Daniel Swets Robotics Materials Award
(This page last updated Feb. 8, 2017)


2017 "Daniel Swets Robotics Materials Award" Application for Educators
(click here for PDF or Word format)
Now closed for further applications until 2018 announcement is posted here.

The NASA South Dakota Space Grant Consortium offers the Daniel Swets Robotics Materials Award in the amount of $5,000 - $10,000 in memory of the unprecedented enthusiasm and vision that Dr. Dan Swets of Augustana College brought to the state of South Dakota in the field of robotics. Dr. Swets, founder of the South Dakota Robotics Association, saw the value of robotics in recruiting students into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at an early age. He strove to provide those opportunities for students throughout their educational career. Not only does this help young people in science and engineering in general, but it also produces high quality students that NASA is looking toward to help fulfill its mission. Dr. Swets served on the Management Team of the SD Space Grant Consortium (SDSGC) for 15 years. SDSGC provides this annual award to a South Dakota teacher or educator of robotics who will carry on these traditions in memory of Dr. Swets and the three other gentlemen who tragically lost their lives in an airplane crash on December 9, 2011; Mr. Kevin Anderson, Mr. Joshua Lambrecht, and pilot Mr. Brian Blake, while on their way from Sioux Falls to Rapid City, SD to assist with a robotics program.


The grant is awarded annually to South Dakota teachers/educators of U.S. citizenship who either have: A) taken robotics training or plan to take robotics training and want to begin new robotics programs and teams, or B) have sustained robotics programs/curriculum in their classrooms or at their schools. Preference is given to: 1) applications that would start new robotics programs and teams (e.g., at a school that didnít have one before), as opposed to augmenting existing robotics programs, 2) robotics programs at the Middle School level, and 3) applications from teachers/educators who have not won any prior robotics or other teacher awards provided by SD Space Grant in the past 10 years.  Questions about the award can be directed to Tom Durkin at Thomas.Durkin@sdsmt.edu or 605-394-1975.


The Management Team of the SDSGC fondly remembers Dan with additional thoughts here.


  2017 grant winners Jackie Knox of Highmore Harrold Junior High, Kelly Hinds of Simmons Middle School in Aberdeen, and Laurie Elmore of SDSU Extension Harding Co. 4-H.
(click on picture to enlarge)

  2016 grant winners Hilary Risner of the 4-H SDSU Extension Program (Douglas and Bon Homme Counties) and Jacoby Hinton of McLaughlin High School.
(click on picture to enlarge)


  2015 grant winners Michael Jones and Jane Karp of Whitewood/Rural Meade Schools, Susan Heggestad and Beth Knedler of Vermillion Public Library, Marcia Kahler of St. Thomas More High School, and Donna Degen of Southwest Middle School in Rapid City.
(click on picture to enlarge)

 2014 grant winners James Kruse of Wessington Springs Middle School, Stephanie Chambliss of the 4H SDSU Extension program (Charles Mix Co.), and Brenda Waterbury of Brandon Valley School District.
(click on picture to enlarge)


  2013 grant winners John Madison and Aren Field of the 4-H program in Huron, SD.  Other 2013 winners include Jason Schlichtemeier of Sturgis Williams Middle School in Sturgis, Chris Stewart of Harrisburg School District in Harrisburg, and Beth Odenbach of St. Thomas More Middle Schoolís robotics program in Rapid City, SD.
(click on picture to enlarge)

  2012 grant winners Ann Anderson and Kristy Messner of Belle Fourche Middle School, Belle Fourche, SD
(click on picture to enlarge)

Link to South Dakota Space Grant Consortium Homepage