November 21, 2018
By Megan Hollaway
The Middle School Gymnasium was packed with students from middle and high schools all over northeast Tennessee this past Saturday. For the third year running, The Johnson County Robotics team hosted the annual Turkey Call Robotics Tournament with a whopping eighteen teams competing. Robotics is part of the Stem classification of classes and extracurricular activities. It encourages students to use critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaborative skills.
The atmosphere was tense and excited while the teams drove their creations and completed tasks. The Johnson County High School team walked away as Tournament Champions and won an award in skills. The Johnson County Middle School Team also enjoyed the spotlight after winning in the excellence, design, and sportsmanship categories.
Johnson County Middle School eighth-grade science teacher, Susan Quave, who also teaches the Robotics class, who was tournament director for the Turkey Call Robotics Tournament said, “We have a really good team this year. I am very proud of these kids.”
Quave added, “Proud we all are for the champion teams of Johnson County, and also the teams from the other schools. There were robots of all difficulty levels competing, in all ages of middle and high school students. It was a community experience.”
Wyatt Decker, an eighth-grade student at the Johnson County Middle School, said, “We have been working on our robot ever since the school year started. Robotics is my favorite class.”
There is a shortage of adults in STEM Jobs in the state making such programs like robotics an essential part of the school curriculum. In addition to this, there are hundreds of scholarships for STEM students, and for competing in Robotics.