May 27 • 02:13 AM

Metal and Soul hosts big reveal

Area FIRST Robotics teams to learn 2016 challenge at Capac High School on Jan. 9

Mentors and students on Capac High School's Metal and Soul FIRST Robotics team will host 19 area teams for 'Game Reveal' day at Capac High School.

December 30, 2015
CAPAC — With the excitement of a new year approaching, members of Capac High School's "Metal and Soul" robotics team are looking ahead to another successful season.

The local team will begin the year by hosting the 2016 "Game Reveal," a non-competitive event, on Saturday, Jan. 9 at Capac High School.

On that day, 19 area robotics teams will gather for a series of workshops and the FIRST Robotics broadcast, which officially kicks off the new season.

Team mentor, Janet Antilla, said 2016 marks the third year Metal and Soul has hosted the event.

Antilla said "Game Reveal" day begins at 8 a.m. with teams participating in workshops that include: Shop and Machine Safety, Pneumatics and Electrical Controls and Strategy and Design.

At 10:30 a.m., the teams will gather in the small gymnasium for the 2016 FIRST Robotics Challenge Release broadcast.

She said teams will then pick up their kits and begin planning strategies for the design of their competition robot. She noted that teams must adhere to specific budget rules and a strict six-week build period.

"Kickoff is a very exciting time for these budding engineers," said Antilla. "It is the beginning of many long hours of work."

She said the event is open to the public. For more information about the kickoff event, or how to support the team, contact Janet Antilla at:

This year's Metal and Soul student team members include: Rose Antilla, DeWayne Baker, Danielle Elliott, Zachary Fahley, Dakota Frohriep, Allison Hansen, Nichola Hayes, Cody Mara, Grace McCarthy, Noah Laskowski, Austin Newman, Shelby Newman, Keith Pillsbury, Jaclyn Radford, Samantha Rosati, Sage Senyk, Scout Senyk, Chad Soucek, Kaitlyn Thompson, R.J. Thompson and Jared Zawada.

Mentor team members are: John Antilla, Janet Antilla, Nathan Antilla, Dave Baker, Vince Carty, Mike Laskowski, Richard Newman, Greg Senyk and Robert Thompson.

A 'Soulful' history

Founded in December of 2007, Capac Metal and Soul Team #2604 was the first high school robotics team to be formed in St. Clair County.

Antilla said there are currently 21 students in grades 8-12 participating in the program, which is designed to incorporate the various elements of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.

In keeping with Metal and Soul's motto, "The team doesn't let the team fail," the Capac team has been the beneficiary of widespread support from the Capac community.

The team is further bolstered by the commitment of a loyal team of volunteer adult mentors, along with a long list of generous sponsors.

Since the group's formation, team sponsors have included: the Chrysler Foundation, Four County Community Foundation, Kettering University, Witco, L&L Products, Keihin Michigan Manufacturing, MAPAL, Plumbing Professors, U of D-Mercy, FASTSIGNS,, St. Clair County Community College, St. Clair County Economic Development Association, and Capac Community Schools.

Antilla added that in recent years, Metal and Soul has additionally been able to apply for grant money from the State of Michigan.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.
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