Robotics team competes at state competition

Rachel Adair, Editor

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The Starkville High robotics team competed in state competition Saturday, October 20. The team competed in 5 categories that BEST (boosting engineering, science and technology) robotics offers: robot, marketing presentation, engineering notebook, exhibit booth and spirit and sportsmanship.  

Denise Adair has been coaching the Robojackets for eight years.
This year’s game theme simulates cleaning trash out of oceans. “It’s a real-world problem that we’re facing that hasn’t been solved yet, so our robot is really on cutting edge technology,” Adair said. 

This year, students had to design a robot that would simulate cleaning an ocean. It was different from other years because the robot had to roll on a beam that was 5 feet off the ground.
Senior robot driver/operator Marshall Skelton said there were new challenges with this year’s competition.
“We have had to make a few changes to our strategies because we are on a beam instead of on the ground, so having to deal with such a big change has been a big challenge,” Skelton said. 

The marketing presentation team is a group of 6 students who have to simulate a sales pitch their robot to a panel of judges.
One of the advantages of robotics competition is the diversity of the categories. Junior Sarah Blanton is a marketing team member.
“I’m interested in marketing, so it’s really cool to get experience in that when I’m in high school,” Blanton said. 

Students gain more than just knowledge about robots from participating in BEST.
Robotics competition offers students a chance to make connections with other students sharing the same interests. Senior Kathryn Walters has taken advantage of the new friendships Robotics offers.
“As I have progressed on the team, I have grown closer to my team mates, and I have definitely gained more than I ever thought I would from joining the robotics team,” Walters said.  

The team got first in engineering notebook, third in marketing presentation, second in robot, and third in spirit and sportsmanship. The Robojackets got second overall and will compete at regional competition at Auburn University in December. 

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