The JCMS Joco Robos students make a stop at the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oakridge, Tennessee while in the area for their Vex Robotics tournament. The students did well and will be heading to the state competition on March 6-7, which is also the qualifying tournament for the world competition. Submitted photo.
By Meg Dickens
The Johnson County Middle School robotics students continue to exhibit excellence. During the Frozen Head Middle School Challenge Team 3075D finished first in the qualifying, Team 3075A finished second, and Team 3075C made it to the semifinals. Team 3075B won the Judge’s Award, and Team 3075A won the Excellence Award.
Johnson County robotics students have been at the top of their game since the program began five years ago. Students competed in the world tournament twice and hope to increase that number this season. The Johnson County robotics programs are still relatively new, but students made the program known through excellent work and attention to detail.
“People know that it’s going on. People are paying attention,” State Representative Timothy Hill pointed out earlier in the season. “Senator Lundberg and I want to make sure this program continues. I will never stop fighting for our students, teachers, and schools. I am proud to support our world-class robotics programs here in Johnson County.”
A lot goes into this type of competition. Apart from the game, students build and design their robots, code the programming, keep detailed notebooks, practice efficient driving, make strategies, and participate in interviews with the judges. Students practice each day in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) class and a minimum of two after school practices a week. After school practices increase to daily a week before competitions.
“In my opinion, the most important aspect to focus on is autonomous, because roughly 75 percent of the time autonomous helps win the match,” Audrey Decker (3075A) said when asked about team future goals.
When asked about their strongest competition, Emma Savery (3075D) mentioned Sullivan East’s girl team because of their excellent robot and strategy. Silas Averill (3075B) and Gaston Dugger (3075D) mentioned Brentwood Academy because they had more time to practice and have a phenomenal team. Assistant Coach Lane Sentell agreed with this assessment and added that the Happy Valley newcomers are becoming a contender.
The Joco Robos will compete in the state competition in Nashville, TN on March 6 through March 7, which will decide what teams qualify for the world competition. The world tournament will be in Louisville, Kentucky this season.