By Meg Dickens
The JoCo Robos team is strapped for time as it prepares for the Vex Robotics World Competition at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. The students now practice nearly every day doing tasks such as improving and creating a new autonomous, practicing and discussing strategies, practicing driving and working to achieve their overall best performance.
The students’ excitement is palpable; they are all first-time competitors at Worlds. The middle school participants will be split into two divisions with a total of 184 teams participating. The main competition is divided into three categories: middle school, high school, and college students.
Both the team and the team sponsors would like to thank the community for its support. Funds raised from fundraisers within the community, including a spaghetti dinner, a school dance and a silent auction, are going towards paying for the trip.
Team Sponsor Susan Quave gives a specific shout out to Roan Creek Elementary for raising over 600 dollars for the team with popcorn sales. Programmer and driver Wyatt Decker delivers a message from the team to the community. “Thank you, and we’re trying to do our best.”
The group hopes to come home with at least one award, preferably the Design or Creative Award.
The students look forward to competing while making new friends from all over the world. The Parade of Nations is the “Olympics of robotics” where ambassadors from all over come together. Every team sets out a booth with memorabilia such as buttons, wristbands, and etcetera to share with the others. It is also popular to exchange coins.
The team will leave for Worlds on April 24 and compete for four days. Watch the Johnson County Middle School Robotics team compete live at www.robotevents.com/vextv. Next year’s new game will be revealed at the end of the competition. Check in with The Tomahawk for more news on Johnson County Middle School’s remarkable team.
Do you want to be part of the JoCo Robos? The team will be traveling to the elementary schools after the competition to show off their robots and pass out applications for next year’s team. They hope to increase both male and female interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and make new friends.