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Teams enjoy robotics experience

Went to California for tournament

POSTED: April 30, 2013 8:00 a.m.
For the Forsyth County News/

South Forsyth High School juniors Brian John, Quintin Crist, Blake Lafayette and Sai Molugoori participated in a World Championship robotics event.

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Three Forsyth County high school teams were strong enough to compete at the international level among a field of the world’s 420 most advanced robotics teams.

“We all held our own and did Georgia and our county proud,” said Nick Crowder, South Forsyth’s robotics coach. “To even get to this point is very tough.”

Teams from South, Forsyth Central and North Forsyth recently returned from the 2013 VEX Robotics High School World Championship in Anaheim, Calif. South’s team ranked among the 60 best in the world and North was in the top 120.

While Central didn’t make it to the 120-team quarterfinals, robotics club adviser David Johnson said the “experience was invaluable” for the first-time competitors.

Just making the competitive tournament from 8,000 teams that tried “makes them winners from my perspective,” he said.

“As sometimes happens, we were plagued with technical glitches,” he said. “I am very proud of how our students handled the setbacks. They stayed positive, never gave up, applied critical thinking and reasoning skills and overcame the challenges.

“They worked diligently as a team and represented [Central] in the most professional manner. The future is indeed very bright.”

Jodie Marshall, North’s robotics team coach, said she was proud of her dedicated students.

“Their responsibility and work ethic combined with their diverse knowledge in various areas of engineering and robotics allows them to compete against the top teams in the world and hold their own,” she said.  

The overall winner of the tournament hailed from New Zealand, but to Crowder the event is really not about victory.

“It’s just a real celebration of engineering kids,” he said. “They get to come together in California and see how picking up some beanbags and putting them in a plastic tray, how many different ways that could be done.”

Crowder said the challenge for next year’s tournament was also unveiled at the event. It’s all about multi-sided balls that don’t roll very well, he said, adding his students have begun brainstorming.

 

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