In 2008 a couple of parents met at a 4-H meeting in Carroll County, MD and had an idea: let’s start a robotics club. The idea was brilliant, if a little out of step with the typical image of 4-H clubs and activities. In those early days, support for the idea was scarce, but one of those parents – Dave Franc – persisted. And thus, Sparks 4-H Robotics Club was born.
As news of the the Club spread, membership grew quickly, and within a year of forming, the 20+ members were looking for opportunities to compete against other robotics teams. The Club decided to sponsor a team, The Super Sonic Sparks (Team 24, aka “s-cubed / S3”), which was one of the very first Vex robotics teams in the world.
In the years that have followed, both the 4-H Club and The Super Sonic Sparks have expanded and flourished. The Club now has more than 60 members who meet each month at the University of Maryland Extension Office in Westminster, MD. The Club now sponsors 5 teams whose 14 members are young men and women ranging in age from elementary school all the way through high school. Four of these five teams will be competing at the Vex World Championships in Louisville, KY in April.
Whether in the Club or on the field in competition, Sparks Robotics is determined to uphold the best of 4-H: hard work, determination, perseverance, and excellence in all we do. Wherever we go, and whatever we do, we work to “make the best better”.