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Olney ISD

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The 2017 OHS Robotics Team competed for the first year in the BEST Robotics Competition this past weekend. The team is a member of the Collin County BEST Hub (CoCo BEST) which serves schools in the North Dallas area, however, this is the closest hub to Olney. The BEST robotics competition puts schools of all sizes head-to-head in engineering design, fabrication, presentation, and creative processes; from teams of home schooled students, to private and public schools. Although the UIL portion of the event does split divisions into small school (1A-4A) and large school (5A & 6A) the BEST Award and individual judge’s awards encompass all divisions. The areas of the BEST Award include:

  1. Engineering Notebook- a maximum of 35 pages describing the engineering process, brainstorming, iteration, mathematical analysis, gaming strategies, outreach and marketing opportunities etc.

  2. Marketing Presentation- a 15 minute presentation to a panel of judges (potential investors) where the team is a company presenting their robot for sale. The presentation must include company member roles, marketing strategy, why their design in the best, design approach, outreach and testimonials, as well as, a price and plan of action if the sale occurs.

  3. Exhibit & Informal Interview- an 8ft x 8ft area dedicated to showing off the team, company, and robot and how all are related to the game theme. Students talk to judges informally about their robot.

  4. Robotics competition- 6 rounds where the robot is put to the test, gaining points for completing tasks.

  5. Spirit & Sportsmanship- points are gained in this category for helping other schools, cheering and supporting your team and other teams.

The team started off this year’s competition by traveling to Ereckson Middle School in Allen, TX on Thursday Oct 19th to give their marketing presentation to a panel of judges. The Marketing Presentation is one of five categories that must be completed to compete for the BEST (boosting engineering, science, and technology) Award. Although you can only complete the robot competition, OHS Robotics decided to complete each section to compete for the BEST Award. For OHS's first competition year the team placed 8th in the marketing presentation out of all 48 schools. This is an amazing accomplishment for a rookie school! Friday Oct 20th the team once again was on the road. This time to Prosper HS in Prosper, TX. If you have never seen Prosper HS put it on your bucket list! Arriving around 7:15 pm the team had an hour and a half to set up their exhibit in the grand hall of the gymnasium. 48 schools from across north Dallas were there as well setting up and building their exhibits and preparing their banners for Saturday's contest. Once again, out of 48 schools competing, OHS Robotics stole the heart of the judges with their memorial exhibit for fallen firefighters of 9/11 and won the "First Place for Exhibit Design and Construction Award".    Also Friday night, the team presented their firefighting robot, SCORCH to the compliance judge to make sure it met all height and weight requirements and that no unauthorized parts were used. The team passed compliance on the first attempt so it was off for a good night's sleep...except the team decided to bring SCORCH back to the hotel that night, foregoing their compliance check, to make a few minor adjustments and checks before the next day’s competition. Because of this decision the team had to arrive an hour early (7AM) the next morning before the competition to once again pass compliance. Saturday Oct 21st was the big day! Arriving at Prosper HS at 7 AM the team quickly made their way to compliance then off to prepare for the opening ceremony in the gymnasium. Here, each school provided two students as team representatives to walk in similar to a parade flying team colors and banners. Each school was introduced and then teams quickly dispersed to the "Pit Area" to get their robot ready for head-to-head competition. In the Pit Area, although coaches and sponsors are allowed, all work on the robot must be done by the students. With only about 20 minutes in between rounds the team really had to brainstorm and work together to make any changes or modifications to the bot. It was amazing to see so many kids working together. Fifty 6 foot tables arranged in a small gym and students scrambling to get their bots fixed was amazing to watch however, the best part was watching the collaboration between students and the camaraderie and sportsmanship of students crossing over school boundaries to assist each other. There were 6 seeding rounds for the robotics competition. Each round the robot had chances to complete tasks for points. At the end of the 6 rounds each team’s point totals were added up to calculate the top 16 teams who would then proceed to the semi-finals. The semi-finals were additional rounds for the top teams to gain additional points before final calculations were made. The OHS Robotics team placed 23rd   out of 43 in the robotics competition rounds.  We are very proud of our OHS Robotics team! The team is already making preparations for next year and reviewing the judge’s feedback on their presentation, notebook, and exhibit looking for ways to improve next year.2017 Team members include: Jeb C., Aldo G., Michael G., Christian F., Fatima M., Ricardo P., Mason S. & Gary T. Please visit the OHS Robotics website at www.olneyroboticsblog.wordpress.com or on Facebook at @OHSRobotics for more pictures and updates from the competition. If you are interested in joining the OHS Robotics team for the 2018 year please see a team member or Mrs. Laurent. This is a UIL competition and is open to 9th -12th grade. Team members will be required to attend weekly meetings, collaborate with other team members towards a common goal, and have an interest in learning about automation, engineering design, computer programming, and fabrication. This is not just about robots! We need members with all kinds of talents including artistic and graphic design, mathematical analysis, construction and fabrication, and research and composition. Here is a breakdown of what a year in robotics looks like:  Spring: t-shirt design, update/ create website and other social media pages. Marketing strategies and community outreach, fundraisers.  Fabrication practice, tool / shop safety training, brainstorming central ideas.Find a programming interface. Rough draft engineering notebook. Summer: fundraising, team building activities. Fall: Team finalized. Robotics Kick-off in September. Regional Competition in October. State Competition in December.