This past December, Grundy County High School was awarded a Tennessee Valley Authority VEX Robotics grant. With this grant, the school received a kit to construct one VEX Robot for team competition. Business education teacher Sissy Foster attended a one-day training in order to get the team started. Welding teacher, Robin Dykes, and physical science teacher, Jason Evans assembled a team of students to compete in the January 28 competition. Students showed great interest when the program was offered as an enrichment class.
On competition day, the team traveled to Chattanooga for the all-day event. The goal of the competition was to move as many objects as possible in a limited amount of time with the team’s robot. Extra points were awarded for robots that could operate autonomously. At the end of the day, the GCHS team came in eighth place out of the 19 competing teams. When the awards were handed out, a special mention of recognition was given to GCHS students as they were able to achieve such high results in a two-week timeframe when the other teams’ had been working for roughly two years.
Due to the high interest in the study of robotics and demand for this type of knowledge in the workforce, the school is working to incorporate more programs of study similar to this for the 2017-18 school year. The school has already ordered two additional kits to build robots for competition and to continue with this year’s team.
A special thanks goes out to the teachers who worked with the team – Gina Sons, Samantha Stevens, and the Central Office staff for all the behind the scenes work to make this grant possible.
Two members of the team, Hunter Ladd and Dalton Ingram, worked tirelessly into the early morning hours the day before competition re-programming the robotic controls.