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Walden III Student Earns $5,000 Grant for Robotics Club


Nolan Tremelling isn’t your typical eighth grader. Sure, he likes to hang out with his friends and get involved in after school activities. But really, he prefers to build things – and then take them apart.

“I try to fix little problems and then just see if I change this a little, how does it change the whole thing. It’s really cool to look and say, I created this, I did this myself,” Tremelling said.

So, naturally joining the Walden Robotics Club was just the right fit.

“I started getting into it last year,” Tremelling explained. “We went to the state competition last year and got 15th place, which is about half way.  This year, we want to get first place.”

But, that’s no easy task – especially when the group is working with outdated equipment.

“We just didn’t have enough space to do robotics. I thought if we had better equipment, our computer is outdated, we could do what we needed to do to get better.”

So, Tremelling took it upon himself to change that. He started searching the Internet.

“I just thought, there’s got to be companies out there that want to give our Robotics Club money.”

And he was right. Tremelling came across a $5,000 grant application from S.C. Johnson. Instead of passing it along to his teacher or even the principal, Tremelling completed the entire thing himself.

“The only help he needed was some numbers from the District,” Principal Rob Kreil explained. “At first working with Nolan and knowing him I said, ‘good luck, don’t get frustrated’. If nothing else, I thought it would be a good experience for him.”

Three weeks later, that good experience turned into a lot more.

“I was shocked, I was so happy and thrilled for him. So, right away I pulled him out of class and all his classmates thought he might be in trouble, you know, the principal asking to see you. But, I shook his hand and told him, ‘congratulations, I’m so proud of you,’” Kreil said.

“At first I thought it was a joke! After I found out it was real, I decided we had to buy stuff right away!”

Tremelling says the club will use the $5,000 for a new work bench and updated equipment. Hopefully just the right combination to build a championship – something they won’t ever want to take apart.