Special to the Daily News
Tania Hotmer, External Affairs Manager of Appalachian Power, was recently at Mingo Central High School to present a check from AEP in the amount of $7,000 to help with their robotics teams.
The check was presented to Deborah Harris, Marcella Charles and Rickey Meade while the robotics students watched. The grant is for both of the robotics teams that are based at the school.
While presenting the check, Tania spoke about how AEP seeks to play an active, positive role in the communities that they serve and live in. Their grants and sponsorships are among the many ways they strive to improve the quality of life for all in the community. The robotics students demonstrated the robot and explained to her the challenge and some of the obstacles they had to overcome this year.
The teams have successfully completed another year of competitions. The Tech Challenge team attended competition in Columbus Ohio and qualified for the championship which was held at I-Space in Cincinnati in February. They also attended the first ever West Virginia FTC regional event where they won the “Connect Award” for team that demonstrated the values of FIRST on the playing field and in the community.
They had to present their engineering notebook which contained details of the robot and their business plan which showed how they connected to the community and school.
Their challenge was to get racket balls from around the playing field and score them in goals that were on the field. They had to stack them or lift the goals or in this case were small crates.
This team and Tug Valley join together for the FIRST Robotics Competition. The FRC team this year was shooting small basketballs at goals on the floor of different heights.
There was also a bridge on the floor that two robots could balance on for bonus points This group competed North Carolina State University where they finished in 15th place out of the 54 teams attending. They were selected by the fifth ranked team as an alliance partner for the championship rounds and were eliminated by the top seeded alliance in the semi-finals. They also competed at the Smoky Mountain Regional in Knoxville where they finished 17th out of the 52 teams there.
The Mingo Central Robotics team is also very proud to have been able to start and work with a new FTC team that was started at Tug Valley High School this year and with the FRC team at Belfry High School. They worked closely with these teams to help them in designing and building their robot and look forward to the future with area teams competing on a national level in robotic competitions.
FIRST Robotics helps students in the areas of math, science and technology and exposes them to engineering opportunities. Students not only design and build a robot in the six week period between the announcement of the challenge and the ship date for the robot, but are involved in several different areas as well. They have students that design buttons to exchange with other teams, develop and maintain a website, provide brochures and newsletters about Mingo County Robotics and learn to use various computer programs including AutoDesk and Inventor.
Students at Mingo Central now have the new engineering program which will allow those students to have access to skills necessary for employment in the robotics field.