By Meg Dickens
Johnson County’s robotics programs have continued to make headlines since their genesis in 2015. The Johnson County High School teams officially finished up the season on Saturday, February 19, at the Sullivan Slam High School VRC Tournament in Bluff City, but the teams do not plan to stop there. The next step is the state championship and possibly a trip to the world competition at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.
“The robotics teams dedicate literally hundreds of hours just in the time that we meet after school each week,” Teacher and Team Sponsor Kasi Dishman explained in a previous interview. “Their determination and hard work is a credit to the support of parents and volunteers that have instilled strong work ethics in them, and as a result, these students continue to represent Johnson County well at each competition they attend.”
Four teams competed in the Bluff City tournament. JCHS teams officially came home with the title of tournament champions, a Design Award, and a Judges’ Award under their belts. Teams are currently mentally and physically preparing to compete for the state title at Brentwood Academy on March 4 and March 5. According to Dishman, three teams qualified for the state competition. There they will find out if they qualify for the Worlds competition, with their category competing on May 5 through May 7.
“Over the next week or so, our teams will be making any last adjustments they need to make to their robots and working on strategies against different types of robots,” Dishman explained. There is a lot to be done in just a little time. The State Tournament has 15 qualifying spots for the World Tournament this year, so we are excited at the possibility of taking one or more of those spots.”
Students are currently fundraising to help with the remaining costs for the year and preparing for the new games coming in May. They are doing this through a donut sale, with the final order date being Friday, February 25. Deliveries will be on March 1.
Those who would like to follow along with game scores and dates can do so through the Vex Robotics’ VEX Via app, available for free on the App Store and Google Play. JCHS currently consists of four separate teams: 63303A, 63303B, 63303C, and 63303V. See photos and updates online on the JCHS Robotics Facebook page as well. For more information on JCHS, its schedule, and events, visit jocoed.net.