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Robotics Team Going to Worlds!!!!

Ashlyn Hurley, Writer

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After three days’ worth of competing in qualification rounds at the Chesapeake District Championship (and placing 1st), Tuscarora High School’s robotics team will be competing at the World Championship held in St. Louis this month! The CyberTitans placed 8th out of 150 teams in Maryland, DC and Virginia while they placed 3rd out of all Maryland teams. The team will be competing at the Edward Jones Dome in front of 20,000 people April 26-29! We took some time to interview the man in charge of the team, Mr. Holmes and team member Kevin Farmer to get more information about the team.

Mr. Holmes:

How long has Tuscarora had a robotics team?

Tuscarora has had some form of a robotics team since at least 2011. There have been two different levels. A “junior varsity” level known as FTC and a “varsity” level known as FRC. Both of these levels are through an organization known as FIRST. The current team is an FRC team and was founded by a former technology teacher, Mr. Rohrer. FTC was founded by Ms. Dills and another former technology teacher, Mr. Schumacher. The FTC team was founded sometime before 2011. I took both teams over in 2012 and only did FRC in 2013.

What exactly is the robotics team?

The robotics team is a group of students who work with mentors from around the community to design, build, and program a robot in six weeks to compete with and against other robots in a game. The mentors are usually engineers. The robotics team also seeks to increase STEM outreach within the community.

What do the competitions consist of?

The competitions are different every year. They have varied from playing basketball to this year which is has a steampunk theme. This years robot has to pick up, carry, and deliver large gears. It has to shoot wiffle balls into a nine foot high goal. And it has to climb a rope off the ground at the end of the game. Each year though, some things remain the same. The robot cannot weigh more than 120 lbs. Each individual match is 2 minutes and 30 seconds long. The first 15 seconds of each match is in autonomous mode, meaning the robot is not human driven but is using the code that was programmed. And each match, you are allied with two other robots and are competing against 3 other robots.

What did you have to do to qualify for World’s?
There are different ways of qualifying for the world championship. Such as winning events or certain awards. But, we are part of the Chesapeake District, which includes the states of Maryland and Virginia, along with the District of Columbia. We had to rank in the top 20 out of 150 teams in the district to qualify. We finished in 8th place and 3rd in Maryland.

How can you join robotics team?

Robotics is becoming more of a year round club and the best time to join would be in the very beginning of the school year since we have training to familiarize students with the program. Students can sign up in the fall like a regular club or sign up through our application found at https://goo.gl/oP2kRY

Kevin Farmer:

How long have you been doing this?

3 years

What has this experience helped you do?

This experience has helped me meet new people.

What do you think will happen at World’s?

I don’t know, there are a lot of foreign tables with super budgets. We’ve done well so far so I’m hopeful!

 

Good luck to the CyberTitans!

 

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Robotics Team Going to Worlds!!!!