Central Skills USA Team Takes Third Place

THE CENTRAL ROBOTICS TEAM WINS THIRD PLACE IN THE STATE QUALIFIERS-- (From left to right) Mr. Keith Bright and a member of the winning team, Edward Rhymer, hold the third place trophy from VEX, next to the award winning robot.

Zeena Whayeb

THE CENTRAL ROBOTICS TEAM WINS THIRD PLACE IN THE STATE QUALIFIERS-- (From left to right) Mr. Keith Bright and a member of the winning team, Edward Rhymer, hold the third place trophy from VEX, next to the award winning robot.

Brittney Hoang, Staff Writer

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On November 16, 2016, the Central Skills USA Robotics team took home the third place trophy at the VEX Robotics State Qualifiers at Chattanooga State, qualifying team to compete in the state competition, to be held at the Convention and Trade Center in Chattanooga.

In the previous four years, the Central Robotics Team has qualified for the state competition, but, due to both technical and personnel difficulties, were unable to compete.

“This is the first Central Robotics Team to make a State Competition appearance,” shared Mr. Keith Bright, the advisor of the Skills USA Club’s Robotics Team. “This is also the first year that the VEX Robotics State Qualifiers have given trophies to place holders besides first place. They only gave out second and third place trophies, in addition to the first place trophy.”

“In order for a team to be qualified for the state competition, teams must: have the correct uniform and must have competed in the Local Qualifiers,” explained Bright. “The robots, though, will be different. In the competitions before the state competition, the robots made could be in any shape or form, anything that could get you through the competition. In the state competitions, however, the robots of all participating teams must be the exact same model. This way, the model of the robot will not effect the results of the competition, but what is being tested is each team’s ability to construct a properly functioning robot.”

The Central Robotics Team participated in separate groups in the competition. Although all three groups had placed, only one group emerged as third place in the competition. The Central Robotics Team competed against six other schools, including Howard, Ooltewah, Soddy Daisy, and East Hamilton.

“I believe that we would have been able to secure second place, if not for the technical difficulties that the team(s) faced,”  admitted Bright. “Despite the team participants being young and inexperienced, they quickly learn. They put up a good challenge for the other schools.”

The participants have been working on their robots since the start of October, and their hard work payed off as Central sophomore Edward Rhymer and junior Joseph Gann were awarded with the third place trophy.

“Being at a robotics competition for the first time made me nervous at first, but after a while I settled down, tried my best, and it ended up being a very fun experience,” shared Rhymer. “My favorite part of the competition was the competitive nature of both the competition and the teams, although at first we had some technical difficulties. The tire of our robot messed up a bit, but I’m happy with the outcome of the results. We are definitely going to do better in the state competition.”

Rhymer and Gann will be attending the state competition in late April.

“The State Qualifiers were fun, we did okay, but we could have done better,” said Gann. “We will definitely make up for it and do better in the state competitions.”

The teams that did not qualify for the state competition will have another try at qualifying in the spring, and The Central Digest wishes them the best of luck, should they try to qualify again!

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