The Matoaca High School Robotics Team, The Warrior Geeks, competed in the First Tech Challenge on Saturday January 14, 2012 at Norfolk State University along with twenty-two other teams. Attending the event were two other teams from Chesterfield and teams from Henrico, Hopewell, and Richmond.
This year’s challenge-playing elements included small plastic crates, racquetballs, and a bowling ball. The goal for the robot was to score the most points for the alliance team that that each school was paired with. Teams had two minutes and thirty seconds per match during which to stack crates and place the balls or bowling balls in different areas to score points. The team alliance with the most points won the round.
The Matoaca High team experienced their share of difficulties throughout the six rounds played: the robot tipping over, loss of power and wi-fi connection to the robot. Between each of the matches the team worked to make repairs and remain competitive. Although the day was marked by setbacks this was offset with an award at the end of the day that excited and motivated the team. The Warrior Geeks team received the “Think Award.” This award is presented to the team that has the best engineering notebook in which the details of the steps of the robot are described.
Work began in earnest last September with the student’s planning and focused on the details creating a template for documenting the thought process as they built the robot and as it evolved over time. Each time the students met or worked on the robot, they would detail the events of each meeting in the template that they created and printed out for the competition. This task was shared among all of the team members. The team met three days a week perfecting the robot and the program that would be used to operate it.
Team sponsor John Ligon was proud of the team stating “I am proud of the students’ accomplishments so far this year. We proved that hard work and effort pay off in the end. The students learned some valuable lessons Saturday, that even if you have the best idea or design you may not be successful. The students became the eternal optimists by learning to always think success is possible even if they lost a match or something didn’t work out. They always thought of ways to make the robot better.”
The Matoaca High School Robotics Team is sponsored by Mr. John Ligon and includes team members Cameron Champeau, Tyler Ferrell, Randall White, Michael Mueller, Crystalin Harris, Daniel Adams, Noah Marwitz, Ricky Booth, Eghosa Edamwen, Nick Skoff, Derek Trauger and Wyatt Tinsley.