UACCB robotics team places second in state competition
The team from the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB) placed second overall in the FIRST Robotics Arkansas Regionals this past weekend. Teams from around the state met in Searcy for the event. Students Christopher Burns of Batesville High School, Matthew Steltz of Cave City High School, and Seth Burrier of Cave City High School worked with UACCB faculty members Randall Warn, Andrew Muse, and Loyd Barry, along with Chester Marshall, Business and Industry Mentor from FutureFuel Chemical Company, for months to design, build, and test their 125-pound robot to compete in a series of challenges.
"The students had a great time meeting fellow competitors from the surrounding area," said Randall Warn, UACCB industrial technology faculty, "It's great to see students working together on a common challenge that is bigger than themselves."
UACCB Team 6055 "BOSS" was sponsored by Spartan Mowers, Haas Machine & Tool, and UACCB's Secondary Career Center. The UACCB team had a strong showing throughout the competition, even scoring a new world record during the second round, making it to the final round to barely lose. "These students worked very hard. During the competition team BOSS learned from our mistakes and got better and better," said Andrew Muse, UACCB math faculty, "Being picked to be on the number one ranked alliance was a testament to the quality of our team and these students."
Each year, the FIRST Robotics competition utilizes a theme. This year was "Charged Up" where, according to www.firstinspires.org, "teams are inspired to see the potential of energy storage in a new light as they compete to charge up their communities."
"Participating in FIRST Robotics not only provides students with hands-on technical skills and experience in teamwork but also instills a passion for problem-solving and a drive for continuous learning. These qualities are essential for success in both education and the professional world," said Dr. Zach Harber, dean of Workforce Education at UACCB, "Incorporating the principles of FIRST Robotics into curriculum transforms education from a passive experience to an active and engaging one, allowing students to develop critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills that are vital for success in the 21st-century workforce."
FIRST Robotics describes the rules as follows: "[e]ach match begins with a 15-second autonomous period, during which time alliance robots operate only on pre-programmed instructions to score points by moving from the community zone, scoring cones or cubes on the grid, and docking and/or engaging with their charge station. In the final 2 minutes and 15 seconds of the match, drivers take control of the robots and score points by continuing to score cones or cubes on the grid, docking and/or engaging with their charge station, and parking in their community. The alliance with the highest score at the end of the match wins!"
FIRST is the world's leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education. Through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 and backed by a global network of mentors, coaches, volunteers, alumni, and sponsors, FIRST has a proven impact on learning, interest, and skill-building inside and outside of the classroom. For over 30 years, students from all walks of life have developed self-confidence in STEM and valuable, real-world skills through FIRST that open pathways to a better future.
The University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville is a comprehensive two-year community college serving Independence County and the surrounding communities with both transfer and career-technical programs. Students can complete their first two years of a bachelor's degree affordably and close-to-home, then transfer virtually anywhere. Students can also complete a credential in a variety of work-ready programs in allied health, welding, advanced manufacturing, and more in a semester to one year. For more information call (870) 612-2000 or visit www.uaccb.edu.