The team hard at work. The team prepares by showing up to practices, robotics sponsor Duane Walton said. They put in a lot of time to get these things ready.
The team hard at work. “The team prepares by showing up to practices,” robotics sponsor Duane Walton said. “They put in a lot of time to get these things ready.”
Photo courtesy of Angelina Jansen

Robotics Team Advances To State

The students patiently stand aside and watch as their device makes its way around the course. The handmade robot was designed for this moment. Slowly, with very few mistakes, it makes its way around the complicated course. The robotics team watches proudly as the robot they built finishes the course and puts them on the right track for the state competition.

The Robotics team competed in the Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology (BEST) and placed third, and they will compete at state on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Frisco. Their theme for this year is ‘made to order,’ which refers to the supply chain crisis and using robots for efficient shipping. 

“We are excited about the upcoming competition and to see what will happen at state,” robotics sponsor Duane Walton said. “This is our fourth year being involved in BEST robotics, and I think this is our best robot, notebook, marketing presentation, and marketing booth.”

The season began Sept. 10 with the season kickoff at Trenton High School. At the event, the challenge and rules were explained and consumable materials like PVC, wood, and more were passed out. 

Before the competition, we gather all of the materials that we use to build the robot,” sophomore Jacob Groth said. “We also were given a chance to network with other teams, mentors, and organizers.”

Between kickoff to the regional competition, the team began to practice after school two days a week. They also attended multiple practice events in Dallas and Melissa to get experience driving their robot on a game field.

The students in the team are passionate about science and probiotics and have the desire to learn,” senior Kathleen Goodwin said. “Their consistently positive attitudes have made the [process] better than I had expected.”

During practices, the team works on designing, constructing, and programming a robot to complete the game. Throughout this process, they documented the progress of the team in an engineering notebook.

“Recently we have had a lot more practices that last longer,” junior Angelina Jansen said. “We have a list of every practice and what needs to be done or worked on to help us get better and better before the competition.”

In addition to the robot and the engineering notebook, the team has to create a marketing presentation. The judges will then finalize the score based on how the robots perform and complete the course.

“I’m really nervous about competing at state,” Jansen said. “I am also really excited because this is my first year, and I hope that we can do well as a team.”

Each category is rated and earns points toward the team’s final score. The marketing presentation is 25 points, the engineering book is 30 points, and the robot’s performance on the field is worth 15 points. 

“We had to submit the engineering notebook to be graded,” Walton said. “We finalized the marketing presentation and finished the robot that we competed with at regionals.”

The top four ranked teams from 1A through 4A advanced to the state competition.

“Our robot design has been tested so far and has seen positive results,” Groth said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to compete at state.”


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