4-H members compete at robot nationals


Photos submitted Local 4-H members competing at the 2015 National Robotics Challenge were, front row from left, Devon Edds, Alex Bailey and Trevor Edds. Back row from left, J.D. Rison, Thoren Heselschwerdt and Perrin Heselschwerdt.

J.D. Rison and Thoren Heselschwerdt get ready for their next match at the National Robotics Challenge.

4-H members finalize their computer programming at the National Robotics Challenge.

The 4-H program across the nation has always been known as a rural organization. It teaches about things like agriculture, home economics, forestry, and wildlife. But times change and so does the 4-H program. With a state focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the Claiborne County 4-H Home School club has started building robots.

This group of 4-H members started building and programming miniature robots that fight to push each other from a circle. The members must not only build and program the robot to function and react but also to stay within the fighting area while pushing the opposing robot out of the contest area. A lot of time in the workshop is required to build a robot as well as a lot of time on the computer to program it to be a winner.

Our 4-H members recently traveled to Marion, Ohio, to compete in the National Robotics Challenge sponsored by Honda. Both teams competed in the junior high division of the mini sumo bot challenge. Team 1 consisted of J.D. Rison and Thoren Heselschwerdt with Perrin Heselschwerdt serving as advisor and their robot competed in the first bracket of the competition. Since this was their first contest, the boys didn’t know what to expect. They won their first match-up and were surprised! Then they won their second match and were excited! J.D. and Thoren ended up winning four matches before being defeated. They were fourth place in the first bracket. Congratulations, guys!

Team 2 consisted of Alex Bailey and Devon and Trevor Edds with Perrin Heselschwerdt again serving as advisor. Our Team 2 did not compete until the fourth bracket. Alex, Devon, and Trevor wanted to match the performance of Team 1 and they certainly did! Team 2 proceeded to win the first four matches in their bracket as well before being defeated. Great job, guys!

For their first-ever competition with robots and at a national competition at that, our 4-H members proved they can compete with the best! They made us proud and represented Claiborne County very well indeed!

The team members said they appreciate their local sponsors for helping them make the eight-hour trek to the National Robotics Challenge. A-1 Signs, R & R Drilling, Greene Insurance Agency, Clayton Homes, Cedar Grove Marina, Judy Redden, Whitaker Insurance, Carla Coffey, Stanifer Drugs, P & P Grading, Tires Etc. and Enrichment Federal Credit Union are all a big part of our 4-H members’ success.

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