South Pontotoc Roarbotics competed at the Mississippi BEST Robotics Competition at Mississippi State University October 2nd -3rd and walked away with Rookie of the Year award.  This award is given to the highest placing team that is competing for the first time.

The Roarbotics also placed 5th Overall in the BEST Award out of approximately 17 teams.  The BEST Award is given to teams that compete in all aspects of the competition.  Our team competed by making a marketing presentation in front of a panel of judges that included professors and other professionals. They created and manned a team exhibit booth in which they were judged on design as well as interviews with team members. They designed a team t-shirt that was entered into competition. They were judged on spirit and sportsmanship as well.  And for the focus of the competition, they designed and built a robot to compete in a course which was a simulation of a mine with various commodities they had to retrieve and bring back to sorting bins. As part of the robot design, they put together an Engineering Design Notebook which was critiqued and graded.

Makenna Cowsert, who served as the team’s Project Manager, was extremely pleased with the outcome.  “It was an amazing opportunity to be able to be a part of this project.  Just over the past six weeks I have learned more than I had ever known about robotics and my personal leadership capabilities.”

Sarah Hoing, the team’s Design Manager, was elated with the results of competition.  “Over the past six weeks, we have definitely learned what hard work and dedication meant.  Also, we learned how to work together and developed teamwork skills, not only among ourselves, but also with our mentors and other teams at competition.  It was so rewarding to see all of our hard work pay off at competition, and we are so proud to be “Rookie of the Year.”

The team’s mentors were Ritchie Little of Pontotoc, Graham Jacobs of Tupelo, and Chad Bryant of Belmont, all representatives of Toyota.  Daniel Hoing of Pontotoc also mentored the students in software design and programming.

Toyota not only provided mentors for each PUL team, they also donated tools and constructed a course which our team used for practice and troubleshooting.

Coaches are Sharon Schaefer, Cheryl Malone, and Brant Puckett.

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