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Robotics teams join forces to take title
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Forsyth County News

Perhaps the only thing better than a robot built by Forsyth County students is two.

During the recent Technology Student Association’s Fall Leadership Conference, a South Forsyth team joined with one from Forsyth Central. They, along with a team from Dunwoody High School, then went on to win the tournament.

“We had two teams from South, and they were going to pair us up with the other South team, but the best robot in the room was the team from Central,” said Nick Crowder, South’s  engineering and technology teacher and robotics coach.

“We love Central and we like to be in competitions with them ... we’re delighted whenever we get to pair up with other Forsyth County teams when we end up in an alliance.”

David Johnson, engineering teacher at the Central STEM Academy, said he was proud of his students. He described them as “professional in their dress, behavior and competitive spirit throughout the conference.”

“Out of a field of 62, both our VEX Robotics teams made it past the qualification rounds and into the elimination rounds,” he said. “They were shining examples of young professionals.

“They assisted and mentored other chapters, as well as management, to ensure a positive event for all attendees. We can be very proud of our youth, tomorrow’s leaders.”

The win entitles both Central and South to a slot at the state championships.

While the robotics win was the highlight of the day, Central’s team also participated in the electric vehicle race, though it didn’t fare as well there.

The team blew a tire in the second lap, according to Johnson.

“The tube exploded out of the tire and wrapped up in the brake assembly, locking up the wheel,” he said. “While the wheel was completely destroyed, the vehicle will race another day.”

The weekend’s victory came less than a month after South earned the BEST Award in the Boosting, Engineering Science and Technology Robotics Challenge at Southern Polytechnic State University. The team robot also placed second.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “We’d been doing it for years and have never even come close to winning the BEST Award.

“This is a major, big-time competition. Engineering schools all over the state come to this contest. So placing second in robotics was huge, but to win the Best Award ... was just amazing.”

South will compete in the regional competition next month, vying for a spot in the national competition.