ROGERSVILLE — A group of Hawkins County high school students demonstrated for the Board of Education last week that aside from learning “Reading, Writing and ’Rithmetic” — their education over the past school year also encompassed robots.
Cherokee High School’s FIRST Robotics Team had a busy day Tuesday, first traveling to Chattanooga to demonstrate their Frisbee-throwing robot for the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The team arrived back in Rogersville Tuesday evening just in time to attend the Hawkins County Board of Education meeting for another demonstration and to be recognized for recent accomplishments at a regional robotics competition.
The FIRST Robotics Competition Smoky Mountain Regional was held March 28-30 in Knoxville where the CHS team finished 24th out of 53 competitors, and notched a head-to-head match record of 6-4.
CHS Vocational Principal Bob Edens, who was one of the team’s faculty advisers, told the BOE Tuesday the group overcame some computer glitches to have a respectable finish in the competition.
“The kids have done an excellent job this year,” Edens said. “We didn’t do as good this year as we did last year. We had a few computer problems when we got there. ... The kids persevered.”
Participation in Cherokee’s robotics team was higher this year than last year, and Edens said he expects it to be even higher next year.
He said some local engineers gave the team a few pointers, but for the most part every component of the robot was designed by the team.
Edens added, “Every year we get a different thing to do. This year we had Frisbees we had to shoot into three, two or one points, and we had a pyramid that we had to climb. ... It’s quite a deal because we’ve got (compressed) air, electric, two or three motors, belt drives, and this thing had to be designed. We didn’t get a pattern to build this. Everything you see is something that someone came up with and created.”
Among the members of the CHS FIRST Robotics Team are team captain Michael Jones; co-captains Logan Lee, Zack Lawson, Kacey Seals, Taylor Seals, Ben Voorhees and Jonathon Hughes; and members Austin Conkin, Peyton Lawson, Dallas Benward, Elijah Sells, Kyleigh Ferguson, Nick Karig, Nick Davis, Josh Brooks, Makenna West, Giovanni Ciazza, Brooks Robinson, Michell Carlson, Caleb McBride, Caleb Bunch
The team advisers include Edens; teachers Jeff Hobbs, Dewey Ferguson and Matt Dalton; and engineering mentor Dennis White.