Daniel Swets Robotics Materials Award
(This page last updated April 7, 2021)
 

2021 "Daniel Swets Robotics Materials Award" Application for Educators (in PDF format) Click for Word format

 

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 (which has since evolved into other robotics organizations), 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 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. First-time applicants to this award and teachers/educators at schools or other educational organizations that currently donít have robotics programs are encouraged to apply.  Past winners and teachers/educators with existing robotics programs at their institutions are also eligible.  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.

 


2021 grant winners (l to r): Lynn Jones of the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, LaNessa Hof of St. Mary High School in Dell Rapids, David Souhrada of Smee School District in Wakpala, and Spencer Cody of Edmunds Central School District in Roscoe, SD
(click on pictures to enlarge and read summary)

    2020 grant winners (l to r): Aminah Hassoun of Oglala Lakota County 4-H SDSU Extension in Rapid City, Luke Erfman of Central Meade County School in Union Center, Ryan Gimbel of Timber Lake School, Barbara Duchini of Little Wound School in Kyle, Tomi Jean Kusser of Hanson School District in Alexandria, and Janver Stucky of CORETECH Robotics Club in Freeman, SD
(click on pictures to enlarge and read summary)

  2019 grant winners: Lauren Hollenbeck of 4H Clay, Union, and Yankton Counties, Wayne Hanson of Herreid School District, and Kathy Heinemann of Moody Co 4H Robotics Club
(click on picture to enlarge and read summary)

 

  2018 grant winners Susan Rolfes of Vermillion Area Robotics Club and Alison Batie of Eureka Public School

(click on picture to enlarge and read summary)

 

  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 and read summary)
 

  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 and read summary)

 

  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 and read summary)
 

 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 and read summary)

 

  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 and read summary)

  2012 grant winners Ann Anderson and Kristy Messner of Belle Fourche Middle School, Belle Fourche, SD
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Link to South Dakota Space Grant Consortium Homepage