Editor's note: Athens Bible School robotics team is gearing up for its annual trip to the North Alabama BEST Robotics Competition this month. In preparation, seventh-grade team member Andrew Paul submitted the story below about the team, which will be posted in the team's marketing booth at the event. One of the categories on which the team will be judged is community outreach, so Paul's article is intended to help meet that requirement, said Kim Harbin, who advises the team.
The robotics team at Athens Bible School will travel on Oct. 25 to Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, to compete in the annual North Alabama BEST Robotics Competition.
Known as ABS Trobotics, a merging of the words trojan and robotics, this year’s team consists of five girls and fourteen boys, more than double the team’s starting size in 2006.
The Athens robotics team has more than doubled in size since the program began in 2006, with five girls and 14 boys among its members.
At the event's kickoff on Sept. 12, the team was given a specific set of tasks to be completed by their robot. After kickoff, they have six weeks to prepare for competition, including designing and building a robot to perform the required tasks, designing and building a marketing booth, documenting everything in an engineering notebook, preparing for a marketing presentation and interview, and organizing an amazing pep squad to take with them on game day.
This year’s theme is “Off The Grid.” It centers on helping electrical linemen do their job more safely. The robot must be able to repair high-voltage transmission lines, power distribution lines and residential power lines, along with installing transformers, clearing debris from roadways and delivering supplies. A driver and a spotter will be on the playing field with the robot.
Each round lasts three minutes, with the team working together to strategically score as many points as possible in that time. If they succeed in placing among the top two teams in the competition, they will advance to the next level — South’s BEST Championship, which will be Dec. 7-8 in Auburn.
BEST stands for Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology. The competition started in 1993, with 14 schools. The organization has grown to include more than 800 schools at more than 42 competition sites across the United States.
BEST Robotics Inc. is a 501(c)(e) nonprofit. For more information on the organization or competitions, visit www.bestrobotics.org.
The students on the team wish to thank all of their sponsors for helping them this season.
You can learn more about ABS Trobotics on Facebook at Trobotics Inc., on Instagram at @trobotics.inc. and on the group's website at https://www.trobotics.info/.