Robo Rumble Goes Regional

Next level ‘rumble’ draws students from Barrow, Oconee to Jackson County

Will Dodd, right, who organized the inaugural Regional Robo Rumble under the auspices of the Oconee River branch of the Georgia Youth Science and Technology Centers, talks with South Jackson Elementary School students Konrad Schramm, left, and Chase Wingfield and retired chemical engineer Gene Lou, who was one of the event judges, about the prizes awarded and the competition.

Taking home 3D printed medals and robot kits following the first-ever Regional Robo Rumble are, from left, second-place winners Christian Ross and Christina Carr, third-place winners Konrad Schramm and Chase Wingfield, and first-place winners Jordan Adamson and Ambree Sanders.

South Jackson Elementary School played host to the first-ever Regional Robo Rumble Saturday, April 27, and an SJES team came away with third-place honors.

Chase Wingfield and Konrad Schramm, who advanced to the regional competition from the district-level contest March 9, finished behind second-place winners Christina Carr and Christian Ross of Kennedy Elementary School and first-place winners Ambree Sanders and Jordan Adamson of Bramlett Elementary. Kennedy and Bramlett are both part of the Barrow County School System.

Other third- through fifth-grade competitors included Joe Duska and Joseph Clark of North Jackson Elementary School; Jack Saucier and Issac Robbins of East Jackson Elementary School; Elinor Ellis, Blair Smith, Ethan Moore, and Morgan Jahn of Colham Ferry Elementary School in Oconee County; Danielle Burke and Leila Edwards, Bramlett; and Tegan Randall and Alexa Rooks, Kennedy.

The nine teams gathered Saturday morning with Robo Robo robots, a “mining scenario” grid laid out on large floor mats, and directions to code their ‘bots to stop “for at least one second” on three miner rescue spots, consider whether a detour to a “mineral site bonus” was worth the effort, and start and stop their journey on a specific spot, marked with a star.

Additional points were collected for finishing quickly and explaining to the contest judges how they made their choices and completed the coding required to move the robots. Points were deducted for touching “dangerous mine collapse points” on the grid or directing the robot off the grid entirely, and each team had the opportunity to put its robot through its paces twice for a higher score.

Two of the nine teams used the full 90- minutes for programming and testing their robots; the first-place team completed their task first of all nine. A tie-breaker — counting fewest lines of code required — proved unnecessary, though just two points each separated the top three teams.

Will Dodd, right, who organized the inaugural Regional Robo Rumble under the auspices of the Oconee River branch of the Georgia Youth Science and Technology Centers, talks with South Jackson Elementary School students Konrad Schramm, left, and Chase Wingfield and retired chemical engineer Gene Lou, who was one of the event judges, about the prizes awarded and the competition.

Will Dodd, right, who organized the inaugural Regional Robo Rumble under the auspices of the Oconee River branch of the Georgia Youth Science and Technology Centers, talks with South Jackson Elementary School students Konrad Schramm, left, and Chase Wingfield and retired chemical engineer Gene Lou, who was one of the event judges, about the prizes awarded and the competition.

Competitors’ parents, grandparents, siblings and friends attended the contest, joining teachers and administrators to cheer on the programmers and record the proceedings on tech devices of all kinds.

Coaches for the regional competition were Todd Smith, Bramlett; Laura Stancil and Amanda McClenny, Kennedy; Kasey Sheridan, North Jackson; Lisa Wilbanks, South Jackson; Kaycie Rogers and Whitney Wilson, East Jackson; and Diane Parr and Holly Wolfe, Colham Ferry.

Judges included Vickie Huff, architectural drawing and design teacher at Madison County High School; Gene Lou, a retired chemical engineer; Kurt Wolfe, a computer scientist; Ken Ridddleberger, a retired wildlife biologist; Bill Dodd, a software engineer; and Meg Barber, robotics and engineering teacher at West Jackson Middle School.

The competition was organized by Will Dodd, regional coordinator for the Oconee River branch of the Georgia Youth Science and Technology Centers at Northeast Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency.

In addition to Jackson, Barrow and Oconee counties, Oconee River GYSTC also serves Madison, Clarke, Morgan, Elbert, Greene and Oglethorpe counties. Dodd said he hopes annual regional competitions will grow to include more schools in the service area.

Learn more about Oconee River GYSTC online at gystc.org/oconee-river-gystc/.

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The page below appeared in The Jackson Herald edition of March 13, 2019, presenting coverage of the district-level Robo Rumble competition.

The Jackson Herald March 13, 2019