GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Commission’s weekly meeting involved commissioners test driving Sphero robots.
Commissioners Harold Montgomery, Jay Stapleton and Eugene Greene were in attendance.
Representatives with The Ohio State University (OSU) Extension-Gallia County met with the commissioners last Thursday to give an update on the organization’s programming.
Director Tracy Winters told the commission the program is working to get back into schools with some of the new robotic pieces the organization received prior to COVID-19.
“We started this in 2020, as soon as we started [COVID],” Winters said. “Apple gave us [what] was somewhere in the neighborhood of about $14,000. We got iPads, we got an Apple computer, we got these little things, called Spheros.”
Brianna McGuire, who works with the OSU extension showed the commissioners how the event Spheros worked and then commissioners attempted work the robotic device.
“Basically the kids code, they use iPads and they will do a coding project,” Winters said. “They use little balls and they will program it and they can do all kinds of obstacle course type things, and we also have…two robots that actually will move.”
Winters said after the students get used to coding, they build an obstacle course and allow the students to guide the robot through the obstacle course through coding.
Winters said students at River Valley Middle School built their own computer game, similar to Pac Man or Space Invaders, designing their own game apps.
Winters said the program has also recently been working on a new pamphlet and working to promote in schools.
Winters said the program recently wrapped up October with the fall banquet. She said the banquet is normally held indoors, but due to COVID the banquet was held at the Gallia County Fairgrounds to allow for more space.
“We had like a little picnic type thing with a box dinner and it went really well,” Winters said. “That’s been our big event for October.”
The program currently has about 38 4-H clubs with the new year beginning Nov. 1.
Jeffrey Moore, educator agriculture and natural resources, said it is currently more of a downtime with farmers and harvesting wrapping up gardens for the year.
In other commission news, a letter requesting the commission to reappoint a member to the Rio Grande Community College’s Board of Trustees with the term beginning Nov. 2 and lasting for five years.
There was also a request from several areas in Gallia County involving engine brakes in the area.
The commission tabled the letters for further discussion at a later time in the day.
The commission discussed the purchase of airplane fuel to refill the tank. Montgomery said he believed that Gallia County was one of the only airports with branded fuel locally.
The board also discussed the rental of hangers for non-aviation use. There is currently a wait list for rentals.
County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio met with the commission and to discuss the benefits offered through the county’s insurance program and how to increase utilization of the programs and insuring employees knew the benefits were discussed.
County Engineer, Brent Booth also spoke with the commission on the tax map budget and the difficulty Booth is having to fill an open position in the department.
“The problem is trying to find somebody that’s got these qualifications or some even if [they] just have a technical background,” Booth said.
The commission discussed the position and situation with Booth until breaking for lunch.
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Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively; reach her at (740) 446-2342 ext 2555.