KINGSPORT — Dobyns-Bennett High School’s FIRST Robotics Team has finished its 2018 season in the top 20 percent of all teams worldwide.
Team members and adult leaders said during a presentation at a Board of Education work session Tuesday that’s a great place to be for a team that just finished its seventh year of competitions. The team also is ranked fourth of 34 teams across Tennessee in offensive power.
“It really taught me how to work in a group setting,” said freshman Tyler Golden, who helped with programming and some building. Other team members said it helped them learn programming, engineering and team building; make new friends; and do hands-on learning. Senior Thomas Jolley said it helped him learn and exercise management skills.
• After that, at the Buckeye Regional in Cleveland, Ohio, the team qualified 14th out of 60 teams and competed as the first pick of the seventh-ranked playoff alliance.
• Taking into account all regional and district qualifying competitions, the Cyber Tribe finished in the top 20 percent of all teams, ranking 722nd out of 3,659 teams in offensive power rating. In the Volunteer state, the team ranked fourth out of 34 teams in offensive power rating.
WHO ARE THE COACHES AND SUPPORTERS?
D-B Project Lead the Way engineering teacher and robotics team coach Angela Conrad and social studies teacher and robotics team assistant coach Cody Davenport helped the team, as did community volunteer mentors such as retired Eastman Chemical Co. engineer David Hrivnak. Others have helped the team since it began.
Conrad said the team grew from four members its first year to 20 this year, including 11 first-time members who are freshmen.
WHAT DID THE TEAM DO TUESDAY NIGHT?
The team gave the BOE a look at its robot 4020 in action as well as an explanation of different jobs students did that included driving and building.
For the 2018 competition, the FIRST robots working in pairs had to be able to stack cubes on a balance scale, in a competition similar to some video games, and could get extra points by having the robot pull itself up the scales. After a demonstration of that, drivers Marcus Espeland, a freshman, and Darren Boggs, a sophomore, showed the maximum speed of the robot: 11 feet per second.
HOW MUCH DID THE ROBOT COST?
Conrad said the team had six weeks to build the competition robot. Because the team had enough money, it built a second one that it could use for practice after the main robot is “bagged” for competition. The team raised $25,000 for the robots and travel.
Sponsors include Eastman Chemical Co., Tri-Cities Extrusion, Eastman Credit Union, STREAMWORKS Powered by Eastman, TVA, Kingsport City Schools and the Kiwanis Club.